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Friday, June 10, 2022
Laura Samani’s solo debut feature is a richly traced period drama about a woman’s resilience, imbued with the air of an unsentimental fairy tale. Set in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region (on the Italian-Slovenian border) in 1900, Small Body follows Agata (Celeste Cescutti), who is mourning her daughter’s stillbirth. Inspired by a rumor overheard in church, Agata undertakes a northward journey in the hopes of resurrecting her deceased child for just a single breath, so that she can be baptized, thereby ensuring her soul’s salvation. Agata’s quest finds her crossing paths with an assortment of characters—some of whom help her, while others impede her—as DP Mitja Ličen’s camera chronicles Agata’s quest to save her daughter’s soul with an eye for the lyricism of the natural world and a curiosity about the supernatural.