‘Me, myself and her’, the Italian movie ‘excommunicated’ by the Catholic press

Io&Lei, Maria Sole Tognazzi

There are still thorny topics for the more Catholic part of Italy, one of them is love between women. That is the reason why the Italian movie “Me, myself and her” has been strongly criticised by the Catholic press once screened in cinemas.

The movie, directed by Maria Sole Tognazzi, has been presented the 31st of January, at the Genesis Cinema in London for the special night of CinemaItaliaUK.

The screening, followed by an interesting Q&A with the director Maria Sole Tognazzi (Io viaggio da sola) and the producer Francesca Cima (Indigo Film), took place just after the controversial protest in Rome, the Family Day, against civil unions for same-sex couples.

“I decided to do this film two years ago” said the director, “but I didn’t think that it would be out exactly at the same time of this discussion about equal marriage in Italy”.

Me, myself and her’ is the love story of Federica (Margherita Buy), a successful architect and Marina (Sabrina Ferilli, one of the characters of ‘The Great Beauty’) an ex-actress and business woman, who have been together for five years.

A scene from 'Io&Lei', by Maria Sole Tognazzi

A scene from ‘Io&Lei’, by Maria Sole Tognazzi

The two women come from different backgrounds, as Federica has been for years in a conventional marriage from which she had a son, meanwhile Marina is a confident gay actress who is comfortable with her sexual orientation.

In five years they have managed to build a strong and stable relationship, despite prejudices.
However, Federica is still struggling with showing their relationship in public and she is going across doubts.

“This is a comedy of love, passion and the pursuit of happiness” explained Maria Sole, I do not want a political interpretation of my movie. I tried to tell the everyday life of a couple who has to struggle after five years of relationship. This is not only a problem for same-sex couples, but for all human beings”.

The movie has been seen as a punch in the face by the traditional and Catholic part of society and it has strongly been criticised.

“The Catholic press did not review the film for all the period of the screening” commented the producer Francesca Cima. “There was therefore a deliberate censorship, part of the Italian society is completely deaf to such important social issues.”

Maria Sole is the youngest daughter of Ugo Tognazzi, a great Italian actor who performed one of the first homosexual roles in Italy with the movie “Il vizietto” (La cage aux folles) directed by Eduard Molinaro in 1978.

“When I decided the subject of this film I obviously thought about my father in this role, but my idea to talk about homosexuality is completely different.” said Maria Sole. “I chose to tell about the typical crisis of all relationships but from a different point of view, the one of two adult women”.

This is only the second movie, in the whole Italian production, that deals with a lesbian relationship, the first being “Viola di mare” by Donatella Maiorca.  Maria Sole directed it with sensitivity and a delicate touch, exploring the universe of homosexuality  and avoiding stereotypes and clichés.

“I deliberately decided to not include sex scenes because it would not have been useful to the story.” explained the director. “I am talking about a mature couple in crisis, when sex becomes more of a problem than a solution.”

And she added laughing: ”I was ‘excommunicated’ by the ‘Osservatore Romano‘ (a Catholic newspaper close to the Vatican). I dread to think what they would have done do if I had put a sex scene then.”



catholicismgenderhomosexualitylesbian lovemaria sole tognazziosservatore romanovatican

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