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Maternal

The notions of motherhood and the maternal care of a young girl are the focus of this powerful and poignant drama, set in a women’s refuge in Argentina.

Dir-Scr Maura Delpero
Prod Alessandro Amato, Luigi Chimienti, Nicolás Avruj
With Lidiya Liberman, Denise Carrizo, Agustina Malale
Italy-Argentina
2019
91min
Sales Charades
With English subtitles

Lu is a disruptive, rebellious teenage mother. She lives with her daughter Nina in a women’s refuge, or ‘hogar’, run by a group of nuns in Buenos Aires. The arrival of Paola, a sympathetic Italian nun who takes a shine to Nina, coincides with Lu going missing. What ensues is a sensitively realised and ultimately heartbreaking portrait of life in a refuge. With its collection of diverse occupants who run the gamut from tough to vulnerable and who are invariably impoverished, as well as the predominantly elderly nuns who support them, the hogar is depicted with gritty verisimilitude. But there’s also genuine empathy here, aided in no small part by the quality of the performances. Understated and all too believable, this is a striking feature debut from Maura Delpero.

Adrian Wootton

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