Fascinating masterpiece of documentary from the 1970s. Its charm, freshness and complexity defy short explanation. Shot on video, transferred to 16mm and now finally restored. Highly pregnant, wandering hippie Anna is picked up by Sarchielli. About real people, real love and the camera’s role.
In the early 1970s, two Italian filmmakers met pregnant, 16-year-old Anna, a junky, on the Piazza Navone in Rome. One of them took her under his wing, partly out of pity, partly due to opportunism - thinking ‘there’s a great film in this’. They film her slow recovery from feral homeless person to human being, initially using a film camera and later on video - which, at the time, was a novelty. Alberto Grifi turned the 11 hours of material shot by the duo into a four-hour film and transferred the video onto 16mm film.
Anna is more than cinema vérité, it is a reflection on the camera’s role in documentary filmmaking whereby the crew also have their say. The long takes create a fascinating portrait of the dynamic between filmmaker and subject, and the work also documents a society very similar to today’s - rife with political and social discontent.
Anna was recently restored by film lab L'Immagine Ritrovata and can now be seen with subtitles outside Italy for the first time.