As a young trans woman cares for her Italian grandmother, she discovers a tender bond in their shared vulnerability.
“For Nonna Anna” is this week’s Vimeo Staff Pick Premiere.
Maya Henry, Jacqueline Tarne, Anna Pecchia, Remy Barone
On the inspiration for the film:
“The idea for ‘For Nonna Anna’ came from my experience growing up with Italian grandparents. My nonna was illiterate, a highly devoted Catholic, and yet, she never shamed me for dressing in her clothes or clomping around the house in her heels. She supported my early gender expression wholeheartedly; her house was my safe space.
The story is also based on the collective memories and experiences of the women in my life. Specifically my mother’s stories of having to bathe my bisnonna (great-grandmother) — and how this woman had internalized shame for her aging body. My mother (who was pregnant with my brother at the time) could empathize. Her body was changing too, in ways she didn’t like.”
On why they made “For Nonna Anna”:
“I decided to make this film because I wanted to fill gaps in storytelling about trans people. We have seen too many stories that vilify, sensationalize, or eroticize our experiences. At best, most well-meaning films often focus on the mechanics of transition, with the film’s plot following this transformation or a ‘before and after’ arc. I really just wanted to tell a story about two women seeing their struggles and experiences reflected in one another’s eyes. The conversations of Chris’ identity have already happened, the family uses the right pronouns, and life goes on. That’s where this story starts.”
On what the film means to them:
“This film acted as a coming out for me. I had never told such a personal story, and it was my first project that I had written and directed on my own. It was also filmed on location at my nonna’s house — a place that is sacred to me. Making and sharing this film was quite terrifying, but it was also healing. It spoke all the things I was too terrified to say at a very critical time in my life.”
On audience reactions:
“What surprised me most was how much people connected with the characters. They really see themselves in Chris and Nonna; I think we all have a relationship or two where words are unnecessary. I was also surprised when people would say things like, ‘Oh, I didn’t know Chris was trans. She doesn’t look trans.’ It’s like, ‘What does looking trans even mean?’ I’m happy this film has been able to shift some people’s perspectives and understanding of what being trans is. Being trans is not just one thing. We and our experiences are varied and different and valid and beautiful.”
Read more about it here: vimeo.com/blog/post/staff-pick-premiere-for-nonna-anna/