In Carlo Lavagna’s critically acclaimed debut, Arianna, we follow the eponymous character in a belated coming-of-age when her stunted development as a woman at age 19 does not add up.
Only when Arianna’s parents take her to their lake house for the summer do the pieces of the puzzle slowly fall into place. Born intersex, Arianna was transitioned from boy to girl at the age of three; a decision made by her doctor and parents, and then buried.
With a notable absence of melodrama, filmmaker Carlo Lavagna has created a refreshing perspective on gender identity that is pleasingly frank about the unhinged libido of developing sexual beings, regardless of their sex. Not surprisingly, the unbridled lead performance by newcomer Ondina Quadri is central to the film’s emotional punch, as reflected by her swag of awards and nominations.