IN THE NAME OF MY DAUGHTER ****
In order to survive, money continues to motivate everyone’s ambitions, as the most essential priority. Money builds and also destroys, it could bring joy but it can also be a dangerous and powerful weapon capable of disintegrating relationships, families, marriages. Money could be the reason for our daily decisions creating manipulation and obsession. At the age of 72, modern French auteur André Téchiné takes a deep look into the aspect of money manipulation, as he watches a family dispute for an inheritance and analysis how things become twisted as money start to rule their interests, their family bonds, the ambitious investments and the love attempts. As his previous work, the mesmerizing “Unforgivable”, this elegant French-Italian co-production focuses on the changing of pace, mood and interests, as three characters are running in the loop: a widow decides to step forward and try to save her family’s Casino from closing, and needs an advisor to guide her through it. At the same time, her daughter, who runs an exotic art-shop, is pushing her to get the money she earned from her father’s inheritance. A lawyer comes on their way, becoming the mother’s personal advisor and also a consultant to the daughter. Things start to heat up, and the daughter falls for him, while they develop a tumultuous romance that will put everything at risk, including themselves. Loosely based on real facts, the film is set in mid-70’s but it breathes very contemporary, as it depicts financial trouble and insecurity. The director creates a mysteriously enthralled atmosphere as everyone is fighting to save their benefits: the mother is determined to save the Casino even if sacrifices must be done, while the daughter is following her youth instincts trying to figure out life on her own. As the important key to these women’s accomplishments, the lawyer must prove his devotion, but he alerts both of them, of his real intentions. Téchiné’s favorite star, Catherine Deneuve is at her best as the fierce widow, while Adéle Haenel gives a revelatory performance as the daughter, confirming that she belongs in the hall of the best of this generation. It’s a striking study about family, love and integrity, all being manipulated by the power of capitalism.
Director Eleonora Danco walks around a small beach town in Italy asking the residents, teenagers, laborers, aging people personal questions about their relationships with their parents, making them dig into their memories to reveal moving aspects of their lives. Using metaphorical angles, poetical and immediate language, the director analysis heaven, hell, punishment, violence, abuse and human connections based on family values, evoking the nostalgic hope that lives inside each of these villagers. A work of admirable force and honesty. (Part of the Open Roads Serie at Film Society of Lincoln Center)