‘A Bad Mother and a Small Heap of Bones:’ Maternal Indifference in Alessandro Capone’s L’Amore Nascosto
This chapter shows how Alessandro Capone’s L’amore nascosto (2009) grants narrative agency to a ‘bad’ mother figure and compellingly stages her un-motherly feelings, yet ultimately re-affirms the naturalness of maternal love. Engaging with Rozsika Parker’s psychoanalytic notions of maternal ambivalence, guilt, and shame, Karagoz contests the film’s reduction of the protagonist’s story to a drama of maternal ambivalence—its assumption that she simultaneously loves and hates her daughter—which Karagoz describes as the master narrative of L’amore nascosto. By analyzing the interplay of devices such as framing and lighting with the film’s ambivalent narrative, with a focus on the black and white flashbacks, Karagoz demonstrates that what L’amore nascosto represents instead, through its counter narrative, is maternal indifference: a woman’s lack of interest in mothering and her inability to love her daughter.
KeywordsAlessandro Capone Maternal indifference Bad mother Idealized motherhood Isabelle Huppert
- Aleramo, S. (1906). Una donna Milan: Feltrinelli, 2013.Google Scholar
- Badinter, E. (2011). The conflict: How modern motherhood undermines the status of women, trans A. Hunter (Metropolitan: New York).Google Scholar
- Bettaglio, M. (2016). ‘Maternal Momoirs in Contemporary Italy’ in L. Lazzari and J. Charnley (Eds.) To Be or Not to Be a Mother: Choice, Refusal, Reluctance and Conflict. Motherhood and Female Identity in Italian Literature and Culture, Special Issue of intervalla, 1, pp. 47–60. Accessible at: http://www.fus.edu/intervalla/volume-3-environmental-justice-collapse-and-the-question-of-evidence/57. Accessed February 25, 2016.
- Cox, L. (2012). ‘Going global: The ‘stars’ of french theory and french cinema’. Journal of Romance Studies, 12(2), 59–74.Google Scholar
- Ferrante, E. (1992). L’amore molesto Rome: Edizioni e/o.Google Scholar
- Gilman, Perkins C. (1892). ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’. In C. J. Golden (Ed.). The captive imagination: A casebook on ‘the yellow wallpaper’ (pp. 24–42). New York: The Feminist Press, 1992.Google Scholar
- O’Reilly, A., & Podnieks, E. (Eds.). (2010). Textual mothers/maternal texts: Motherhood in contemporary women’s literatures. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier UP.Google Scholar
- Parker, R. (1995). Mother love/mother hate: The power of maternal ambivalence. New York: Harper.Google Scholar
- Parker, R. (2012). ‘Shame and maternal ambivalence’. In P. Mariotti (Ed.). The maternal lineage: Identification, desire, and transgenerational issues (pp. 85–112). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Taglietti, C. (2009). ‘Una madre che odia la figlia. La storia vera è tutta inventata’, Corriere della Sera, 5 July. Available at: http://www.pressreader.com. Accessed August 31, 2016.
- Venturi, M. (1997). Madre e ossa Milan: Baldini.Google Scholar
- Capone, A. (2007). L’amore nascosto (Hidden Love). Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg: Cristaldi Pictures, Soho Films, Tarantula, U Media.Google Scholar
- Cattani, F. (2012). Maternity Blues. Italy: Faso Film, Ipotesi Cinema, The Coproducers.Google Scholar
- Marazzi, A. (2002). Un’ora sola ti vorrei (For One More Hour with You). Italy and Switzerland: Venerdì, Bartlebyfilms, Radiotelevisione Svizzera Italiana.Google Scholar
- Marazzi, A. (2012). Tutto parla di te (All About You). Italy and Switzerland: Mir Cinematografica, Ventura Film, RAI Cinema, Radiotelevisione Svizzera Italiana.Google Scholar
- Martone, M. (1995). L’amore molesto (Nasty Love). Italy: Lucky Red, Teatri Uniti, RAI 3.Google Scholar