Le fate ignoranti

Italy

Synopsis

Antonia and Massimo have been married for over ten years; they live in a nice villa in the residential suburbs of Rome and they're a happy couple. Massimo suddenly dies in a car accident.
Antonia gives way to absolute grief, attended by her mother Veronica and the Filipino maid Nora.
Antonia can't manage to pull herself together; she doesn't go to work, she neglects her friends and colleagues, she shuts herself off in her pain.
Until she happens to discover that Massimo had a lover for seven years.
Her investigations to find out who it is force Antonia to come out of her shell of pain.
Following only the trail of a surname and an address, Antonia manages to find the house of her husband's lover, who lives in a working class district of the city, and she discovers that it's not another woman ... but a man, Michele. There is a dramatic confrontation between the two of them, but also an attraction: after all they were both in love with the same man.
Antonia discovers that Michele is surrounded by a real 'family' of friends, who had become her husband's second family.
The difference between the two families is that Antonia and Massimo's family was a 'closed' and purely sheltered unit, while Michele and Massimo's family was 'open' to the rest of the world, where men and women live without distinction with regard to sexual orientation, age, race and social class. Getting to know each other better, Antonia and Michele discover that they have much more in common with each other than either of them had with Massimo.
Antonia is actually drawn into this new nucleus of an alternative and extended family, almost like a substitute for Massimo. And she too begins to project onto Michele her need for love, from which she was orphaned by the death of her husband.
Through a series of dramatic and amusing, tragic and ironic experiences, Antonia and Michele come close to the possibility of falling in love with each other.
But Antonia, realising that what joins them is still the ghost of Massimo, decides to leave. But her departure is not an escape.
The experience with Michele and his friends has not only helped Antonia get her grief out of her system, but has also made her understand that she has always lived protecting herself from life. She is now ready to open up to the world and start again. She is ready to love again.

Director's Biography

Born in Istanbul in 1959, Ferzan Ozpetek moved to Italy in 1978 to study film history at the Universitä La Sapienza in Rome. He took courses in art and costume history at the Navona Academy and film-making at the "Silvio D'Amico" Academy of Dramatic Art.

After working with Julian Beck and the Living Theater, in 1982 he began working as first assistant director with Massimo Troisi on SCUSATE IL RITARDO and then with Maurizio Ponzi on SON CONTENTO.
He then worked for a long time as Ponzi's first assistant director , making nearly all Ponzi's subsequent films, and then for other directors, including Lamberto Bava, Ricky Tognazzi, Francesco Nuti, Sergio Citti and Marco Risi.
Marco Risi, together with Maurizio Tedesco, produced his first film: IL BAGNO TURCO - HAMAM, which, revealed at the Quinzaine des realisateurs in Cannes in 1997, received much critical and public acclaim both in Italy and in the rest of the world. Quite unusually for an Italian film, it was sold to France, Britain, Spain, Scandinavia, Germany, the Netherlands and Japan, and even in the "impenetrable" United States it was a huge success.

On 21 May 1999 his second film, HAREM SUARE, came out, presented in the "Un Certain Regard" section of the Cannes Festival and officially invited to international festivals such as Toronto, Palm Springs and London, to mention only the most famous. The film met with considerable success from both critics and the public, and has been sold to more than 30 countries.
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Cast & Crew

Directed by: Ferzan Ozpetek

Written by: Gianni Romoli, Ferzan Ozpetek

Produced by: Gianni Romoli, Tilde Corsi

Cinematography: Pascquale Mari

Editing: Patrizio Marone

Production Design: Bruno Cesari

Costume Design: Catia Dottori

Make-Up & Hair: Ermanno Spera, Vittorio Sodano

Original Score: Andrea Guerra

Cast: Margherita Buy (Antonia), Stefano Accorsi (Michele), Serra Yilmaz (Serra), Gabriel Garko (Ernesto), Erika Blanc (Veronica)

Nominations and Awards

  • Feature Film Selection 2001