DIRECTOR: Carlo Lavagna

Bay Area Premiere

Arianna was born three times: once as a boy; three years later as a girl; and finally, fully, during a sultry lakeside summer, when she discovers that she is neither, or both—intersessuale. At 19, the captivating pale-eyed beauty looks as if she had stepped out of a Renaissance painting, with her boyish figure, tousled hair, and fine nose. But there is anxiety behind her eyes—she has not yet begun menstruating, and despite reassurances from her doctor father, the hormone patches have resulted in not much more than aching breasts. When she arrives with her parents at their country retreat near Lake Bolsena, it has been 16 years since her last visit there, and Ari is struck by memories of her old bedroom, her three-year-old best friend, and something else, something mysterious and indescribable. To make matters more confusing, her teenage cousin Celeste has suddenly blossomed and is busy exploring her sexuality while Arianna fumbles with her own. Amid the buzzing insects, lush greenery, and milky waters of the lake, Arianna begins working her way out of this maze of un-knowing. She investigates her past, probes her body, and slowly pieces together a new identity. Director Carlo Lavagna’s dreamily fragmented ode to self-discovery is ripe and unrushed; its sensitive camerawork, revelatory. With a convincing performance by newcomer Ondina Quadri in the title role, Arianna is a coming-of-age story that gives no pat resolution, but instead opens up into the beauty of uncertainty.

— Lucy Laird

In Italian with English subtitles.

AT&T Audience Award Text Voting Code: F101

Co-presented by:

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