SUNFLOWERS (GIRASOLI), a film by Catrinel Marlon
Italy – 2023
1963. The young nurse Anna takes service in the juvenile ward of a mental hospital. Here she meets and becomes attached to sweet Lucia, a fifteen-year-old schizophrenic. Against the backdrop of a struggle between Dr. Marie and the rigid Dr. Oreste for the new experimental treatments, the relationship between Anna and Lucia thickens, forcing them to make decisive choices for their respective lives.
Sunflowers is not a story about madness, nor does it tell about mental asylums as we have been accustomed to see them. It is the story of an impossible love, which was born by chance within the walls of a hospital psychiatric and survives to this day, imprinted on paper and in memory. We tell it so that the mental hospital does not remain just a place of suffering and imprisonment, but can survive in a story. That of Anna and Lucia. Forever. As a first film I have always wanted to try my hand at a film with children. I’ve always loved them and I have always been fascinated by their purity, their way of interacting and above all by how they see the world. I started my life journey in a sort of orphanage Romania, where I was born. Despite being recovered by my parents, I am still I grew up “alone”, together
with my sister and among the jungle of children in my neighborhood. A very important theme that has taken over my growth is that of madness, a theme that was very fascinating even though I felt very sorry for the person it was in care, my mother’s sister, a crucial figure in my growth. The desire to unite the world of madness and the world of children led me, in the various research I have done, to discover a absurd reality, a ferocious world: the children’s asylum. A rush of difficult lives, or refuse. Their imprisonment lasted until the early seventies, when the walls of the institution asylum began to crumble thanks to the Basaglia law.
Sunflowers is the story of Lucia and Anna. A story that tells of the love that is born despite everything, full of contrasts and dramaturgy, of extreme ugliness, of the beautiful, of the pity and hatred of whose asylums were overflowing. The country’s frenetic development in the 1950s had died down by time, but it has never passed from those extreme lands. In the mental hospitals everything has remained still the violence exercised has remained the same over time. And the discomfort and suffering are the same over time. Girasoli is the “silence” of the timeless cage. A prison in which he still succeeds, thank you to the relationship between Lucia and Anna, to penetrate a flash of light.
Sunflowers (Girasoli), a film by Catrinel Marlon. Gallery:
DRAMA – ITALIAN – 1.37’ – 2:35 – COLOR – STEREO
directed by CATRINEL MARLON
cast GAIA GIRACE, MARIAROSARIA MINGIONE, MONICA GUERRITORE, PIETRO RAGUSA
produced by MASI FILM con RAI CINEMA
co-produced MOBRA FILM e GAPBUSTERS
associated LUMINA MGR
distributor MASI FILM and PATHOS DISTRIBUTION
producer MASSIMILIANO DI LODOVICO
coproducer TUDORE REU, JOSEPH ROUSCHOUP & ISABELLA ORSINI
screenplay CATRINEL MARLON, FRANCESCA NOZZOLILLO, HEIDRUN SCHLEEF
director of photography FABIO ZAMARION
editor MASSIMO QUAGLIA
set designer TONINO ZERA
costume designer NICOLETTA ERCOLE
executive producer MAURO CALEVI
post production MEDIA FENIX
sound DAVIDE MAGARA
music ALESSANDRO MAGNANINI, LOGICO SRL
Press release from Manzo Piccirillo.