“THE DISAPPEARANCE OF MY MOTHER”
A Film by Beniamino Barrese
Benedetta wants to disappear. An iconic fashion model in the 1960s, she became a muse to Warhol, Dali, Penn and Avedon. As a radical feminist in the 1970s, she fought for the rights and emancipation of women. But at the age of 75, she becomes fed up with all the roles that life has imposed upon her and decides to leave everything and everybody behind, to disappear to a place as far as possible from the world she knows.
Hiding behind the camera, her son Beniamino witnesses her journey. Having filmed her since he was a child in spite of all her resistance, he now wants to make a film about her, to keep her close for as long as possible – or, at least, as long as his camera keeps running.
The making of the film turns into a battle between mother and son, a stubborn fight to capture the ultimate image of Benedetta – the image of her liberation.
Official Selection, 2019 Sundance Film Festival
“I’ll add to my list of heroines Benedetta Barzini, an Italian 1960s supermodel who became a leftist feminist and mother… One of the most moving and complex films at Sundance.” – Amy Taubin, Film Comment
“One of several memorable documentaries in this year’s Sundance Film Festival… Deeply personal and shot through with fascinating contradictions, THE DISAPPEARANCE OF MY MOTHER is a portrait of a woman in rebellion… Barzini is a severe, unsparing critic of the commodification and exploitation of the female body by men, which greatly complicates her son’s insistent, at times intrusive gaze. It also deepens the movie, making the personal ferociously political.” – Manohla Dargis, The New York Times