In Search of Elsa Morante | Casa Italiana Zerilli / Marimò

In Search of Elsa Morante

Mon, 10/16/2023 - 6:30pm
A Conversation on the Making of the Documentary with Vanessa Roghi
photo of Elsa Morante

In Search of Elsa Morante
(In cerca di Elsa Morante. Storia di una scrittrice)
(Documentary, Italy, 2021, 42 min.)
In ITALIAN with ENGLISH subtitles

Followed by a conversation with director
Vanessa Roghi, historian and author


This documentary, researched, written, and directed by historian Vanessa Roghi, tells the story of the life of Elsa Morante (1912-1985), one of the greatest Italian authors of the 20th century. It does so by piecing together the clues left to us by the writer herself: a suitcase filled with photographs, rare and rediscovered television appearances, and a lecture from 1965 recorded by Swiss television which has never been broadcast since.

Talking about the making of the film offers a chance to tell the story of a woman who moved further and further away from the star-system spotlight. And she did so just as her husband, the author Alberto Moravia (1907-1990), and her closest friend, the author and director Pier Paolo Pasolini (1922-1975), take the opposite path and begin appearing more and more on television and on the silver screen.

The disappearance of Elsa Morante - not by chance a prelude to the most relevant phenomenon of contemporary Italian literature, Elena Ferrante - almost becomes a prophecy, a symbolic gesture that allows us to reflect upon a woman's need to take a step back into the shadows to allow her works, and her works alone, to do the speaking.