Elisa Fuksas – Nina (2012)

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The contemporary architecture of Rome – rather than the traditionally seen Roman viaducts and amphitheatres – are at the heart of the beautifully shot and winsomely appealing Nina, which charts the oddball escapades of a young woman in a depopulated Rome during one hot summer.

The film is a playfully familiar story of a young woman drifting through life as she tries to find some sort of direction, but debut director Elisa Fuksas – a trained architect and daughter of famed Italian architects Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas – shoots with a real eye for structure and shape, making this Roman holiday interlude an enjoyable and often heart-warming tale. The film had its world premiere in competition at the Tokyo International Film Festival.

Nina (Diane Fleri, who starred in My Brother Is An Only Child and I Am Love) has plans to go to China and is learning calligraphy, but most of her time is spent pet-sitting for a wealthy person who has left Rome for the summer.

In a plush apartment she looks after an aquarium of fish, a hamster and a dog, and while she seems to embrace her time alone in the city – taking the dog for walks, zooming around on her yellow scooter, sitting alone in cafes or jogging through the empty streets – there is a sense she is looking for more from her life. Continue reading