dir. Sergio Castellito, Italy 2012, 124 min.

Sergio Castellito's melodrama is particularly attractive to numerous fans of the talent of Penelope Cruz, who in "Twice Born" plays one character; however, her character appears on the screen in two different ages: as an Italian Momma and as a young, sensual girl. Just as, the script mixes past and current life of a character, the film   combines a family drama, war story and love story in its most classical form.

Gemma and her son Pietro arrive in Sarajevo at the invitation of woman's former colleague, Bojko. While traveling, Gemma cannot stop recalling the memories of the past. More specifically, of the mid eighties, when as a student she used to live in the Balkans. During her stay in a mountain hostel, she met a charming photographer, Diego. Even though, at that time, she was in a relationship with another man, this crazy love affair won with a vision of settling down alongside her former partner. Lovers were inseparable. Diego was with Gemma when she found out about her health problems, which - as time has proven - determined the future of their relationship.

Years have passed, and now once again Gemma is traveling through Sarajevo, but this time she has her adolescent son at her side. He slowly uncovers his mother's history, a past full of, both war and love drama in the background. Will this travel cement their difficult relationship or will Piotro fail to accept the truth that has been hidden for years? The film has been based on a bestselling novel by Castellito's wife, Margaret Mazzantini. Besides Cruz, an all-star cast of the film includes, among others, Emile Hirsch ("Into the Wild") and Jane Birkin.


Jacek Sobczyński


Major festivals: Toronto International Film Festival 2012