In Worldly Girl (La ragazza del mondo) Marco Danieli ( here our interview at the Film Makers Afternoon Tea) throws us into the stiff world Jehovah’s witnesses, an orthodox religious movement which has one of its most thriving communities in Italy. Despite their big presence among us, even us Italian are aware of their presence only for an annoying buzz of the doorbell or a coloured magazine in the post.
Worldly Girl is a formative story where Danieli and Antonio Manca’s script is never obvious, not even in the easy to be love story between the two main characters Giulia and Libero.
Giulia (Sara Serraiocco) is the kind and gentle 19 year-old girl with special skills in mathematics. Hard-working and dutiful. Clothes and hair out of fashion, devoted to her family and her religion is torn between the desire to go to the University, as her teacher (Lucia Mascino) suggested her and her mother (Stefania Montorsi) and father (Marco Leonardi); but especially her community expectations.
The turning point in Giulia’s life arrives just after one of this annoying doorbell buzz when she meets Libero, nomen omen. Libero is a working-class youth who has just got out of prison, and decides to help him by offering him a job and soon something between them change breaking her certainties. Giulia penetrates Libero’s mask and defence but when she meets her former nanny who has been dismissed from the community because she has chosen a “boy from the world” forbidden by their religion, she sees a sign from Jehovah to bring her back on course but something in her has changed forever already.
The story was tell to Danieli by a friend who told him how the community can humiliate you (there is a really touching scene in Danieli’s movie where it seems to be back in the Middle Age).
Marco Danieli and Antonio Manca have attended the Jehovah’s Witnesses community to be prepared to show the world this religion made by strict rules more important than blood ties.
Danieli follows the characters in hand-held shooting and Giulia separation from her family and the community is slow and made by small steps.
In Worldly Girl, love is catalyst for the change and not the finishing line and the end is cloying even without the banal happy ending.
“My father says rules are like a cage for a diver among sharks”
In Italian cinemas November 3rd