DVDFr | A Chiara: the complete DVD test

Third Calabrian chronicle of a very independent Italian filmmaker who succeeded, from the outset, in making himself known at Cannes. To discover !

Chiara, 16, lives in a small town in Calabria, surrounded by all her family. For his sister’s 18th birthday, a big party is organized and the whole clan gets together. The next day, Claudio, his father, leaves without a trace. She then decides to investigate to find him. But the closer she gets to the truth that surrounds the mystery of this disappearance, the more her own destiny takes shape.

To Chiarareleased in Italy in October 2021, in cinemas in April 2022, selected at Cannes in 2021 by La Quinzaine des R√©alisateurs, acclaimed by the Europa Cinemas label, is the third feature film by director and screenwriter Jonas Carpignano. The first, Mediterranea, was selected at Cannes in 2015 for the Critics’ Week Grand Prize and for the golden camera. The second, A Ciambra, won the Europa Cinemas label in 2017.

To Chiara is the third feature in a trilogy set in the Calabrian village of Gioia Tauro where Jonas Carpignano was drawn in 2010 by the aggression of African immigrants that would inspire him In Chjana
(19′) in 2012, then Mediterranean in 2015.

To Chiara

To Chiara confirms the director’s concern for realism already noted by the two previous parts. His films, fictions, have a deliberately documentary aspect on social facts, Mediterranean on the problem of the rejection of migrants. At Ciambra on the living conditions of Roma in Calabria by following a 14-year-old boy, about the same age as Chiara, devastated by the discovery, at age 15, of the abandonment of the family by his father to escape the police.

The realism is supported by the use of light means, a shoulder-mounted camera, natural lighting and, above all, by the use of non-professional actors, some seen in his previous films, all recruited locally. The characters keep, most often, the first name of the actors and seem to forget the presence of the camera. The credits scroll a dozen times the name of Rotolo, that of the main actress, Swamy Rotolo, whom the director had spotted very young during the filming of At Ciambra. Present in almost every shot, she convinces, throughout the film, by the maturity, intensity and naturalness of her acting.

The other two feature films by Jonas Carpignano, Mediterranea and A Ciambra, were also published by Blaq Out. The flawless career he has succeeded in up to now makes us impatient to discover his next film.

To Chiara

To Chiara (117 minutes) and its supplement (31 minutes) fit on a Blu-ray BD-50 housed in a thin
digipack.

The animated and musical menu offers the film in its original version, in Japanese, with imposed subtitles and the choice between two audio formats, Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 stereo.

Debate at the Directors’ Fortnight with Jonas Carpignano and Swamy Rotolo (24′, in Italian, with simultaneous translation into French and English). On the stage, after the screening of the film, Jonas Carpignano, accompanied by the main actress, answers questions from a host and the public. It was after coming to Gioia Tauro in 2010 that he decided to settle there, then to tell what he had seen there in his first three feature films. It’s there, during the casting of the short film At Ciambra whom he met Swamy Rotolo in 2013, when he was already planning to produce To Chiaraa film about the life of the Rotolo family in which he inserted a dramatic element, the allegiance of a member to the ‘Ndrangheta, the Calabrian mafia that plagues many homes.

To Chiara

The analogue image (1.85:1) on 35 mm film (and a few 16 mm shots), with a very correct resolution and stability of the silver grain, deploys a fairly warm palette of carefully calibrated colors. The level of contrasts ensures the visual comfort of all shots, including night scenes.

Dolby Digital 5.1 sound (with a 2.0 stereo alternative) ensures the expected clarity of the dialogues and a judicious distribution of the signal on the five channels creates a feeling of immersion, discreet, but coherent, in the atmosphere of the exteriors.

Image credits: © Stayblack, Rai Cinema, Haut et Court, ARTE

DVDFr | A Chiara: the complete DVD test