CINEMA – The subject of this film is most painful, which is why it is necessary to tackle it. In “Pieces of a Woman”, available on Netflix since Thursday, January 7, the British actress Vanessa Kirby forcefully embodies a mother faced with the death of her child at birth.
The 32-year-old actress’s first film title role, discovered through her portrayal of Princess Margaret in “The Crown”,“ Pieces of a Woman ”, by Hungarian Kornél Mundruczó, allowed Vanessa Kirby to win the interpretation prize at the Venice Mostra.
A reward deserved in particular by the grueling opening scene of the film, nearly half an hour during which the spectator follows as closely as possible a home birth that goes wrong. A scene shot in one take.
Taboo hanging over women
Throughout the film, the mother, Martha (Vanessa Kirby) will try to mourn and rebuild herself. His relationship with his partner Sean (Shia LaBeouf) and his mother (Ellen Burstyn) will be strained.
For the filming, the team met women facing this type of grief. Trying to stay true to their pain was “very scary,” Vanessa Kirby explained in Venice.
In an interview with BMFTV, the actress also explains that she “learned a lot about the subject”, for the sake of realism, but also because she herself has never given birth. “So I met a lot of obstetricians and midwives to learn from their experiences. Then there was a miracle: one of the last days a woman arrived to give birth and she allowed me to stay to watch. I could never have played the role without her, ”she continues.
Vanessa Kirby says she threw herself “headlong” into this first role on the big screen. And is aware, beyond the difficulty inherent in this role, of the extent of the taboo that weighs on women who have lost an infant.
“The loss of a newborn baby, perinatal bereavement, remains a silent taboo for many women who cannot make themselves heard by their relatives and society, uncomfortable with their story. To take this reality head-on and do justice to their testimonies was frightening ”, confided to the Figaro Vanessa Kirby. “This grief is specific, but the pain, the difficulty of keeping your head above water when your life implodes is a universal experience. ‘Pieces of a Woman′ shows how you have to put the pieces back together, reshape yourself in a way you can’t imagine. ”
Break the silence
The director, for his part, admitted that making a film “about the loss of a baby” was not the most commercial idea.
“Grieving goes beyond the boundaries of understanding and control for all of us, but also brings the ability to be reborn,” observed Kornél Mundruczó, who worked with his partner Kata Weber, on writing.
“My wife and I wanted to share with the public one of our most personal experiences, through the story of a stillborn child, with the hope that art can be the best remedy for pain” , he said. With BMFTV, he adds: “I am very surprised to see that such an intimate film resonates with so many people. By breaking our silence, we allow others to break their silence, and this huge taboo. ”
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