// Presented as part of Filmatique's Young Womanhood Series //
Exclusive Interview with Ana-Felicia Scutelnicu
Exclusive Essay: Objects of Desire and Subtle Beauty in Anishoara
Spotlight on Anishoara
Ana Felicia Scutelnicu / Germany-Moldova, 2016 / Munich, Al Este de Lima Film Festival, Cambridge, Cinequest San Jose, Cleveland, European Film Forum Scanorama - Lithuania, Exground Filmfest Wiesbaden - Germany, Festival Premiers Plans D'Angers, Fajr, Göteborg, Guadalajara, Minsk, Noordelijk, San Sebastián, Seattle, Tallinn Black Nights, Thessaloniki, Trieste, Vancouver, Warsaw / 106'
Anishoara is a 15-year old girl living with her grandfather and little brother in a small village among the rolling green hills of Moldova. Her life is marked by the quotidian rhythms of country life; in summer she feels the overwhelming sensation of first love when on a trip with friends to the melon harvest. In autumn a strange German tourist disrupts her otherwise calm existence. In winter she travels for the first time to the sea alongside the young man with whom she fell in love. In spring she longs for her lover's return, but when that moment comes it's not what she expected.
Tracing the last year of a young girl's childhood before she embarks on her adult life, Anishoara depicts both the cadences of nature, and relationships, in a vanishing world. Ana Felicia Scutelnicu's debut feature film premiered at Munich, San Sebastián, Seattle, Thessaloniki, Tallinn Black Nights, Guadalajara and Vancouver, where it won Best Cinematography.
"The anthropologically inclined coming-of-age story, something of a staple on the arthouse and festival circuit, gets a sensitive and confident makeover in Ana Felicia Scutelnicu's literal and thematic follow up to her 61-minute-long Panihida. Dovetailing with her experiences shooting that film, which was set in the same small village in Moldova, Anishoara is the real name of her lead actress, whose unselfconscious, taciturn magnetism captivated the director. Of course, things rarely come together instantaneously in the film world, and there is a sense that the ephemeral moment that so fascinated Scutelnicu, of Anishoara's transition from girlhood to womanhood, has already (though recently) passed for the young non-professional actress. But rather than scuppering the film's already diffuse storytelling, this quality lends a somewhat overfamiliar story its freshest notes... [Scutelnicu's] watchful gaze over Anishoara is quietly enriching, giving us a clear-eyed, unsentimental, and very gently liberating homage to all the girls of times gone by and all the girls of times to come who, in the words of Thomas Gray, would otherwise blush unseen and waste their sweetness on the desert air"
- Jessica Kiang, Munich Review, Variety