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From 19 January 2021

Small Body Piccolo corpo

Laura Samani / Italy, Slovenia, France / 2021 / 89 min / Friulian, Italian, Slovene

The young Italian director’s debut film, a raw fairy tale based on an ancient Christian tradition existing in the region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Small Body explores the boundaries of human belief in miracles.

Photos

Northeast Italy, 1900. Young Agata’s baby is stillborn and so condemned to Limbo. A devout Christian, Agata hears about a place in the mountains, where infants can be brought back to life for just one breath, to baptize them and save their soul. She undertakes a voyage with her daughter’s small body hidden in a box and meets Lynx, a solitary boy who offers to help her. They set off on an adventure which will enable both to come close to a miracle.

"In 2016, I discovered that in Trava, in my Friuli-Venezia Giulia, existed a sanctuary where up until the 19th century particular miracles were said to occur: that stillborn children could be brought back to life for the space of one breath. / … / The story of these miracles got snagged in some nook of my mind and stayed there, calling for attention. I was struck by one thing in particular: it was mainly men who would travel to these sanctuaries with the small bodies of their infants. Naturally, the women who had just given birth were confined to their beds but I couldn’t get past the helpless wait they were subjected to." (Laura Samani)

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