Jasmine Trinca examines the mother-daughter relationship in Marcel!

Picture of the film MARCEL! by Jasmine TRINCA © Fabio Zayed

In Marcel!, her first feature film, the Italian actress Jasmine Trinca draws from her personal history to describe the dynamics that structure the mother-daughter relationship. A film where Alba Rohrwacher and the young Maayane Conti steal the show.

What was the starting point for Marcel!?

The spark came during rehearsals for my short film, Being My Mom (2020). Alba Rohrwacher was playing the character of my mother and Maayane that of her daughter. Between two takes, I saw Alba playing with Maayane. She had her acting as a small dog and barking. That moment concentrated everything that I wanted to depict: the love, ferocity, loyalty, trust and hate that link a mother and daughter. More than the name of the dog in the film, Marcel! is a scream that conceals our incapacity to let go of the people we have loved.


When did you feel the time was right to move on to directing?

Stories live inside us, I'm sure of it. Some remain anchored in us, others pass through us and leave. And then there are some that remain, nestling in some corners of our spirit and slowly growing until they become so overwhelming that we have to tell them so that they can give way to another. It was necessary for this story to have an existence outside of my head. 


The film tells the story of a child that's somewhat neglected by her mother. How much of this is autobiographical?

My relationship with my mother was a key aspect of my existence. By retracing it, I wanted to highlight certain profound dynamics of the mother-daughter relationship. They remain, in analysis and in narration, a territory that has not been greatly investigated. There's something repressed there. And it's a territory that's difficult to investigate, as men naturally feel excluded from it. I simply used the camera as the eye of my memory. It's subjectivity that governs this story, not reality.


It's also a film about the freedom of being who you are. What did you want to tell?

That life is everywhere, that women are a bit twisted, different from how we talk about and describe them, and that within this rather crazy distortion, they have a self-determination and carry within themselves the painful seeds of a revolutionary freedom.

“When I’m agitated, I walk, I wander, I lose myself and I find myself. It’s in this manner that I discover the world. It’s the same thing for a child and her mother.”

The film takes place essentially outside. Why?

When I'm agitated, I walk, I wander, I lose myself and I find myself. It's in this manner that I discover the world. Through fits and starts, by losing myself in it. It's the same thing for a child and her mother.


How did you work with Alba and Maayane?

Alba is a generous actress who agreed with my project and incarnated it. I worked with her on the physical aspect that she and she alone could give to this character. I think it's a very difficult approach for an actor because you're more used to working with them on the psychology of the characters. With respect to Maayane, she's a child who carries within her a number of cultures and a number of passions. She has the ability to come on stage and instantly bring with her a great level of intensity. It was wonderful to learn from her and to try to channel this raw energy without losing any of it.


What did you bring from your career as an actress to this first feature film?

An understanding of what it's like to be seen by others.