In Italian director Emanuele Crialese’s new drama L’Immensità, set in 1970s Rome, Penélope Cruz plays a mother of three who ends up in a mental institution after a fight with an abusive Italian husband.
“I don’t think my character is crazy,” Cruz said.
“She is trapped in her family. Trapped in her home, in her body. In the situation she is in, lives. She has no plan B. There is no escape,” she added.
“She’s not crazy at all. It is suppressed in many different ways. And she just can’t take it anymore.
“There are many women around the world trapped in their homes pretending to their children. They try to pretend things aren’t that bad. They do this to survive.”
Cruz also pointed out that “I’ve played so many mothers. I’ve done seven films with Pedro and I play a mother in five of them. This is no coincidence. A have a very strong sense of motherhood. And I am fascinated by what happens in every family.”
Domestic violence is just one of several crucial themes addressed in L’Immensità, which is based on Crialese’s memories of his difficult family life in relation to his abusive, narrow-minded father and his experience of transitioning from woman to man in those days .
In the film, the eldest of the children in the family is a 12-year-old girl named Adriana who wants to be a boy. She rejects her name and gender identity. This attachment throws the fragile family off balance. Although not strictly autobiographical, Adriana is based on Crialese’s memoirs.
“My travel [transitioning from female to male] very different from the journey of today’s kids,” said the director. “The most important thing was to transform this pain. And I did that by creating stories,” added Crialese.
“At some point I had to make a choice between living or dying. You don’t choose this trip. you were born this way I have no memories of myself in which I perceived myself differently than I became [a male]. It’s not a choice. That’s how you come into the world.”
https://variety.com/2022/film/festivals/penelope-cruz-domestic-violence-venice-emanuele-crialeses-limmensita-1235359814/ Penelope Cruz takes action against domestic violence at press conference in Venice