Scen.: Alice Rohrwacher. F.: Hélène Louvart. M.: Carlotta Cristiani. Scgf.: Emita Frigato, Rachele Meliadò. Mus.: Cleaning Woman. Int.: Alba Rohrwacher, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Melissa Falasconi, Tatiana Lepore, Carmen Pommella, Luciano Vergaro, Greta Zuccheri Montanari. Prod.: Carlo Cresto-Dina, Alfonso Cuarón per Tempesta, Esperanto Filmoj, Disney+. 35mm. D.: 37’. Col.
When Alfonso Cuarón asked me if I wanted to make a short film about Christmas celebrations, I immediately thought of a big pink cake: the cake was on a table, and lots of pupils were staring at it, enthralled. That image derived from my memories of a little story that I had read many years previously: it was in a letter that the writer Elsa Morante sent to her friend Goffredo Fofi to wish him a happy Christmas. Her splendid letter described the fortunes of a zuppa inglese, a cake like a trifle, that had ended up in a religious boarding school during the festive season. It was while I was imagining paths crossing in the boarding school, with Christmas approaching in the thoughts and actions of the orphan girls left alone there with four nuns in a time of scarcity and war, that the film was born. It’s a film about desires, pure and selfish, about freedom and devotion, about the anarchy that is capable of flowering in the minds of the girls within the confines of the strict boarding school. Though the obedient students may not be able to move, but in their eyes, their pupils can dance the unrestrained dance of freedom.