Ginevra Elkann’s debut feature Magari (If Only)
An authentic and moving story of divorce from the point of view of a child.
By: Kia Ambrose Brown
Magari (If Only) is a drama and comedy about three siblings, Jean (Ettore Giustiniani), Alma (Oro De Commarque), and Sebastiano also known as Seb (Milo Roussel) who live in Paris with their newly converted Russian-Orthodox mother Charlotte (Céline Sallette) and her husband Pavel (Benjamin Baroche). For the Christmas holidays, their mother sends them off to Italy to their Italian father Carlo (Riccardo Scamarcio) who is a struggling screenwriter trying to get his script green-lighted, and has been an absent father for years, he doesn’t really know how to look after his kids properly. Charlotte is hiding two secrets that will not stay in the dark for too long which are that she’s pregnant and she and Pavel are planning to move the family to live in Canada. This is a coming of age film and Alma being the narrator of the story tells us her perspective and wants both her parents to get back together one day.
It is an authentic and moving film Ginevra Elkann uses her own autobiographical experiences as a child and gives a strong voice to the child in a family the midst of a breakdown.
The film is directed by Ginevra Elkann, a London born Italian and granddaughter of Gianni Agnelli, among the heirs to the largest fortune in modern Italian history that started off her career within film as a producer and has now gradually moved onto directing and made her debut with a short called Vado a Messa in 2005 and this will be her first feature film directing and as a debut feature is a great film.
Magari (If Only) is a very entertaining film throughout and it is an insight into an unusual Italian family which is where the director has her roots even as she was born in London. It shows a representation of family that isn’t sugar-coated. As a typical family you’ll go through highs and lows and no matter what will come back together because at the end of the day they’re bonded for life with their love for one another. As the youngest daughter is telling the story about her divorced parents highlights another key issue that a lot of young children are clearly affected by their parents getting divorced and it may be hard for them to understand. A clever message is within the title of the film as ‘Magari’ means maybe in Italian and it’s the expression of the daughter’s hope for her parents to get back together again.
Check out the trailer below!
We also had the pleasure of interviewing director Ginevra Elkaan and actor Riccardo Scamarcio at the Cine Lumiere for the 10th-anniversary of Cinema Made In Italy 2020, please check the interviews out here.
“Captivating drama of a connected family that is a partly autobiographical and impressive debut from noted producer Ginevra Elkann” – Adrian Wootton, curator of Cinema Made in Italy, CEO of Film London and the British Film Commission
100 mins in Italian with EN subs
ITA-FRA / 2019 / dir. Ginevra Elkann, with Riccardo Scamarcio, Alba Rohrwacher, Milo Roussel, Ettore Giustiniani, Oro De Commarque, Céline Sallette, Benjamin Baroche, Brett Gelman, Luigi Catani