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Monday, March 23, 2020

100+ Years of the Great Italian Moviemakers: Cristina Comencini's 1996 "Follow Your Heart"

Virna Lisi in a scene from "Follow Your Heart"
"Follow Your Heart" is a sentimental story written by Susanna Tamaro. In 1996, I purchased the book at Rizzoli Bookstore in San Francisco. I was so captivated it, I remember finishing it on the BART train on my way to work at KTVU in Oakland with tears rolling down my face. 

After all these years, I just watched the movie that was directed by Cristina Comencini. As much as I have written about her over the years, I have no recollection of her having made a film adapted from the book. I am still shocked. Of course, I got chocked up at the end to actually see this book from my 20s play out on the screen directed by one of my favorite filmmakers who I actually met a few years ago. So strange how small the world really is. 

Virna Lisi and Margherita Buy are really spectacular as the same character in different time periods. It is such a moving story and so perfectly adapted by these women. Virna Lisi narrates this story of a grandmother who creates a journal recalling the past as she writes letters to her estranged granddaughter who she raised like her own child. There were a lot of answered questions surrounding the death of the girl's mother. So, the journal explains everything. "To make mistakes is natural, but to leave without understanding them takes away the meaning of life." 

I recommend reading the book first. It's a short but moving read. Follow the links below.. 


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