Nine 1/2 Moons: Two sisters and the many ways to be a family
by Vittoria Scarpa
- Michela Andreozzi's directorial debut is a comedy that boldly addresses hot topics such as surrogacy and same-sex families, released in Italian cinemas on 12 October
A return to the topic of surrogacy in Italian cinema, but unlike Una Famigilia [+see also:
interview: Matilda De Angelis
interview: Sebastiano Riso
film profile] screened at Venice last year, this time there’s room for some humour. In her debut feature film, Nine 1/2 Moons [+see also:
film profile], popular comedy actress Michela Andreozzi is not afraid to tackle hot topics such as new forms of parenting, same-sex families, a desire for motherhood, and the choice to remain childless. And she does so by putting the love between two sisters on centre stage, played by the director and Claudia Gerini (also on our screens in the Manetti Bros' True Love [+see also:
interview: Marco and Antonio Manetti
film profile]), who have two completely different personalities and lifestyles, and who find themselves sharing an unusual pregnancy.
Italy: "a country in which I can give you my kidney but not my uterus," one of the lines with which Andreozzi, who wrote the script along with Alessia Crocini and Fabio Morici, takes her stance in the film. “I'm not a fan of using the human body as a tool," she says, "but why can't a woman offer something she possesses if it's an act of love?" Which is truly the case for Livia (Gerini) and Tina (Andreozzi), engaged to Fabio (Giorgio Pasotti) and Gianni (Lillo Petrolo) respectively. The first sister is hyper-fertile but has no intention of bringing children into the world, and the second sister wants nothing more than to become a mother, but her body won't play ball. Livia shudders at the thought of pregnancy and the idea of carrying around an "alien" in her belly for nine months, but when faced with her sister's despair she agrees to surrogacy following a suggestion from her homosexual gynaecologist (Stefano Fresi), who, along with his partner Manfredi (Massimiliano Vado), began his family in more or less the same way in Canada.
All this must happen, of course, in secret. And the ups and downs that accompany this crazy pregnancy, during which one sister is forced to hide her belly while the other must replicate a bump with a cushion under her dress – besides from creating hilarious situations (some successful, others less so) – will become the pretext to a varied depiction of the many ways to be a woman and a mother: from those who pop out children by the will of God (the daugher-in-law played by Claudia Potenza, married to neocatechumenal Vanni, also known as Alessandro Tiberi), to "regretful" mothers (Francesca Cifola in a passionate cameo), those women who, despite being pregnant and single, only need one man in their life: their son (the singer Arisa in another cameo), and those who don’t have any intention of having children at all and are not ashamed of the fact. A comedy that is first and foremost an homage to the freedom of choice, supported by a pair of close-knit protagonists who know how to mix irony and sensitivity by embodying a sisterhood that is tender, conflicting and contradictory, just like all sisterhoods.
Nine 1/2 Moons is an Italo-Spanish co-production from Paco Cinematografica and Neo Art Producciones, in collaboration with Vision Distribution, which is set to distribute the film today (12 October) in 340 Italian cinemas.
(Translated from Italian)
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