Daughter of Mine

What makes a parent? How much does biology factor? And can having a relationship with an unhealthy/addicted/self-destructive bio parent still be better for a child than having no relationship with them at all? This film examines these questions, bathed in a teal haze on the dusty island of Sardinia. Alba Rohrwacher and Valeria Golino shine as biological and adoptive mom respectively, whose relationship grows competitive when 10 year old Vittoria begins visiting the former without fully understanding their connection. Child actress, Sara Casu, takes us on a gorgeous character arc from mousy insecurity to solid sense of self over the course of the film. I’m still trying to figure out why the final scene of the film resonated so strongly - Vittoria runs ahead of her moms, happy, and proud, and rips off her shirt, walking confidently in the sun. Maybe this hits harder in prudish North America than in Europe, but it reminded me of my own childhood and that short but sweet time before I felt shame about my body. Maybe it’s that Vittoria standing proud with the heat of the sun’s rays on her bare chest feels like power and strength to me.