December 2012, arsenal cinema

Living Archive - Public screening: ANNA

Public Screening in December

Thursday, December 18, 7pm in Cinema 2

ANNA, Alberto Grifi and Massimo Sarchielli, Italy 1975, 16mm, 213', OV/GeS

ANNA is an documentary about a 16-year-old homeless junkie, eight months pregnant, whom the filmmakers discovered in Rome’s Piazza Navona. It documents the interactions between the beautiful, clearly damaged, often dazed teenager and the directors, who take her in partly out of compassion and partly because she’s a fascinating subject for a film. ANNA cuts between long domestic scenes (including an interminable delousing in the shower) and equally protracted café discussions back in the square, where the unruly cross talk touches on the movie’s key themes: between filmmakers, the state and the society.

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). 

The film was originally recorded with a video apparatus in a length of 11 hours and a 4 hours abridged version was transferred to 16mm film in June 1975 by using the "Vidigrafo" (constructed by Grifi himself). That same year, ANNA was shown at the International Forum of New Cinema.

ANNA marks the birth of our media age, not just demonstrating the obsessive immersions of a new technology that, as Grifi put it, “makes life filmable,” but also embodying the uneasy dawning awareness of what that means.