#52FilmsByWomen: MIELE (HONEY)
22/52 MIELE (HONEY).
If you’ve ever seen the films Rain Man, Leaving Las Vegas, Frida and Hot Shots or watched the series In Treatment, then you’ve seen the Italian/Greek actress Valeria Golino, who makes her stunning directorial debut with Miele.
This Italian drama follows a solitary yet compassionate young woman who earns a living by assisting terminally ill people with illegal suicide. She’s observant yet detached in the face of death and believes passionately in the right of what she does. One day she’s confronted with a man who wants to end his life because of depression, not illness, and she’s forced to question her boundaries, fears and beliefs, as well as the notion that she can only bear the pain of others when she’s not present with her own pain.
This film is exquisitely shot, often using reflective surfaces or surprising composition. Music plays a huge role and always originates from inside the film as a note of character exposition, not as an external manipulation. I also appreciated that women are everywhere in the film, though not particularly focused upon, such as a group of ballet students on a street or close-knit Muslim women on a train.
Golino is subtle and thoughtful with her controversial subject matter, never getting heavy-handed and never telling her audience what to think or feel. I love what she’s created, both visually as well as with the performances from her cast, and I’m excited to see what she does next. Miele is streaming on Netflix and is so worth watching.