An affluent Italian family, an idyllic summer's day, a sumptuous villa, a destructive struggle for power between mother and daughter. Maternale is an intimate and - in its adherence to the unities of time, place and action - highly formalised exploration of 'female' themes: frustrated desires, mother-child rivalry, the regime of the domestic, manifested here in an almost sensual obsession with food. But despite Gagliardo's experimental intentions, it all seems curiously old-fashioned, with the luscious imagery, dreamlike mood, mannered mise en scène, and perhaps partly the 1960 setting, overlaying the film with the faded bloom of art cinema.
Cast and crew
Anna Maria Gherardi