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Alberto Grifi, Massimo Sarchielli, 1972-1975
Italy | Italian with English subtitles | Format: DCP | 225 minutes
Introduction by author Rachel Kushner, whose award-winning book The Flamethrowers is dedicated to the subject of the film. Read Kushner's piece about the film for Artforum.
Recently restored by the Cineteca di Bologna, this astonishing nearly four-hour documentary centers on the titular pregnant, homeless 16-year-old whom the filmmakers discovered in Rome’s Piazza Navona. Mainly shot on then-newfangled video (which gives the black-and-white images a ghostly translucence), it documents the interactions between the beautiful, clearly damaged, often dazed Anna and the directors, who take her in partly out of compassion and partly because she’s a fascinating subject for a film. Far from straightforward vérité, this self-implicating chronicle includes reenactments of the first meeting, explicit attempts to direct its subject, and frequent intrusions from behind the camera (not least the emergence of the film’s electrician as a love interest). Anna cuts between domestic scenes and café discussions back in the square, where the unruly cross talk among hippies, bums, bourgeoisie, and angry young men touches on the movie’s key themes of obligation and intervention: between filmmakers and their subjects, the state and its citizens, fellow members of society.
Restored by Cineteca Nazionale and Cineteca di Bologna with Associazione Alberto Grifi.