Reviewed by: Andrew Robertson

"Constrained by medium to sight and sound, it suggests the other senses, beautifully so, with elegant composition of scenes."

This is a synaesthetically stunning short, a powerfully constructed and artful film. Rita may be blind, but the quality of this work is eye-opening.

It may have helped to see this on a sunny day at the Edinburgh Film Festival, but the light on Rita's skin recalls the feel of the sun on one's own. By focusing on Rita, the camera almost always pointing at young Marta Palermo's face, we see around her, we guess, we infer, we remember, we feel.

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It's won award upon award and it deserves to. Writer/directors Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza deserve every plaudit, but as a whole this work depends on several efforts. Constrained by medium to sight and sound, it suggests the other senses, beautifully so, with elegant composition of scenes and the sound design of Daniela Bassani and Stefano Grosso.

This is Marta's debut role. She herself has been blind since birth. Notes suggest she had no truck that anyone else would be Rita, and on the strength of her performance its impossible to argue. She's not alone, vitally, and it is her encounter with a boy (Marco Correnti) who has hidden in her house that spurs the film into motion.

As a challenge, focusing the film through the perceptions of a blind girl is no small task, but Rita succeeds ably. By giving us a glimpse into Rita's usual existence, the discomfort of a dress fitting and her navigation of the house, enough cues are given to the audience that we can identify commonalities with our own experiences. While we see more than in HP Lovecraft's The Dunwich Horror, it's similarly playful with its audience's perceptions.

It may on the face of it seem slight, but its tight focus means that that doesn't matter. It is captivating, technically excellent, evocative. The smell of a flower, the feeling of sand running through fingers, to be in the sea, the taste of salt, to be outside on a summer's day, to be optimistic, to be curious, cheerful, lost; it's not a whirlwind but it is a sensation.

Reviewed on: 04 Aug 2010
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A frustrated young girl who has been blind since birth encounters a boy on the run.
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Director: Fabio Grassadonia, Antonio Piazza

Writer: Fabio Grassadonia, Antonio Piazza

Starring: Marco Correnti, Marta Palermo

Year: 2009

Runtime: 18 minutes

Country: Italy


EIFF 2010

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