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Nick Vivarelli International - ‘They Were Like Flower Children’: Susanna Nicchiarelli on ‘Chiara,’ With ‘My Brilliant Friend’ Star Margherita Mazzucco as Saint Clare - variety.com - Italy - city Venice - county St. Francis
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‘They Were Like Flower Children’: Susanna Nicchiarelli on ‘Chiara,’ With ‘My Brilliant Friend’ Star Margherita Mazzucco as Saint Clare
Nick Vivarelli International Correspondent With “Chiara,” Susanna Nicchiarelli’s portrait of Saint Clare of Assisi – the 13th century saint born into a wealthy family who at age 18 became a nun after hearing St. Francis preach – the Italian director completes her trilogy of female biopics, segueing from “Nico, 1988” and “Miss Marx,” which both launched from Venice’s Horizons section. With “Chiara,” she makes the leap into the main Venice competition. Nicchiarelli spoke to Variety about what drew her to portraying this prototypical feminist and directing “My Brilliant Friend” star Margherita Mazzucco in the pic’s titular role. Excerpts. What drove you to want to tell us this story about St. Clare?Well, first of all, I was always passionate about Saint Francis. I have a very strong memory when I first saw Franco Zeffirelli’s “Brother Sun, Sister Moon.” I was at school when they showed it to us and this boy, this man, taking his clothes off in front of the Bishop. That was a very strong image. Francis’ battle speaks to us just as much today because it’s a battle for poverty, against social injustice. It’s about being on the side of the poor, of those who are different, and the injustices of a society in which very few have everything and then most have nothing. So, this was their battle. The medieval society was like that. It’s not so different from the way it is now.
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