In my first film The Tree, I focused on three distinct forms of imprisonment – physical, within a system, and by our own feelings of guilt – all of this by means of a single story about a blood feud. During the shooting of the film a member of my family was dying and later on I decided to venture away from this kind of commentary on a social issue in order to follow the intimate tale of Iva and her family. However, the urge to explore the characters' inability to connect with each other during the worst moments of their lives still derives from a reflection on society: the currently prevalent nihilism, violence, and emotional detachment. One of the possible oppositions to this, which I have tried to keep in mind while making the film, is beauty as an aesthetic as well as an ethical category.
I focused on Iva, confronted with her mother’s past that she cannot accept. As we all are, she is drawn to judging, labelling. Only when she is able to understand (or at least allow a possibility that there is something she doesn't understand) and to perceive different points of view, she can develop compassion for the human condition. In this sense History of Love is also a coming-of-age film. Together with the actors, we created characters who are alienated from themselves and each other, while we can at the same time sense the pain that they cannot escape as well as their underlying need to connect.
Similar to The Tree, which was structured as a multi-protagonist nonlinear narrative, History of Love is also marked by nonlinearity - corresponding to the complex experience of reality by the characters.
Stepping away from a linear narration, the film builds on the main character’s subjective experience, and uses the story merely as a framework. It required a very precise screenplay in order to determine the exact line between how much of a story to present without creating an impression that the point of the film is to tell a story, while still providing the most appropriate story clues to create
a film universe wherein we can explore the inner states of the characters as well as the more abstract concepts of human condition. I have had an opportunity to develop this during a very fruitful collaboration with Midpoint and Torino Film Lab script consultants. Beside the narrative structure, sound plays an important role in this.
The sound design for this film has been a special and quite a long process in itself, as the sound in this film carries at least as much of the film's weight as the visual narration does. It connects the parts that could be perceived as past and present, into a meandering of events, memories and thoughts, with shots or sequences echoing variations and details; to escape causality as the ruling storytelling principle and lean toward synchronicity or juxtaposition. Building the experience through precise sequences of images, rhythm, atmosphere, requires a benevolent and sometimes patient viewer, which is not easy when the perception of film is becoming increasingly focused or limited on what can be analytically/intellectually grasped or read: in this case bare-boned plot/storyline.