In 1900 in northeastern Italy, Agata goes through a hellish delivery to give birth to a stillborn daughter who is quietly buried while she’s recovering. When the village’s priest confesses that children who are dead at birth can’t be given a name or baptized, she hears whispers of a church in the snowy mountains that can resurrect her daughter just long enough to take a breath and be recognized under the eyes of God.
Without telling anyone, Agata departs from her small fishing community and sets out on a tumultuous journey. It isn’t long before she meets Lynx, an itinerant thief who wanders the region and agrees to help guide her to this rumoured sanctuary. Their expedition unfolds in what feels like abridged real-time, as we’re alongside Agata and her intense determination every step of the way.
Small Body takes a personal grief and expands it across this mountainous region for a surprisingly contemporary examination of the various ways in which women inhabit the world. This striking first narrative feature from Director Laura Samani isn’t just a small-scale epic – it’s a thoughtful fable about a mother desperate to give a name to her daughter so that she may be remembered, even if by no one else other than herself.
– Ammar Keshodia