COME IL VENTO
Roberto Missiroli, Catherine Maximoff
35mm - colour
festival & awards:
Lodi, 1989: Armida Miserere is one of the first women to become a prison warden; Umberto Mormile is an educator at the penitentiary in Milan. They share a house midway between the two cities. One spring day, Umberto is killed on his way to work, and Armida’s life falls apart. Now that she has nothing to lose, she chooses to work on the front line at the most dangerous facilities. She never bows to pressure and applies the laws, while doing her best to remain human and keep looking for love. Milan, 2001: Armida learns the truth: Umberto was killed for refusing to be bribed by the underworld. His name is dragged through the mud by police collaborators, and it’s all too much for her.
When I was told the story of Armida Miserere, I thought about how hard it must have been to be a prison warden, in charge of inmates and agents, without giving up her femininity. And I wanted to understand how and why this woman who was apparently so strong could fall apart. A look at her biography told me that the love of her life, Umberto Mormile, had been killed by the ‘Ndrangheta, for resisting bribes, it seemed. I investigated the life of an ordinary woman, strong and fragile at once, who was totally immersed in a complex, challenging institution. Even more than in my previous films, I chose to adopt a simple style that would leave room for the truth of this figure, while trying to interweave a tale of political commitment with the love story, and the more intimate, emotional elements of the film with the social dimension.