Alice Rohrwacher is one of contemporary Italian cinema’s true visionaries, a director whose eloquent style fuses revitalized neorealism with her own richly emotional sense of fantasy. She has made three acclaimed features, Corpo celeste (2011), The Wonders (Grand Prix at Cannes 2014) and Happy as Lazarro (Best Screenplay at Cannes 2018), as well as shorts and an opera. On the occasion of MoMA’s retrospective celebrating the director and her sister, actress Alba Rohrwacher, she tells us about five poetic and political films.

AMERICA AMERICA, Elia Kazan, 1963

Cinema that transforms life into an epic, and that still speaks about the present day.

THE BLUE PLANET, Franco Piavoli, 1982

A film that is a painful declaration of love to our planet, to human beings, to the light and shadows that live within it.

VAGABOND, Agnès Varda, 1985

The life of a vagabond, told as a luminous and cruel parabola.

TELL ME LIES, Peter Brook, 1968

A film that is also a political manifesto, a theatrical action, a song, and that interrogates the spectator in an indelible way.

THE EARTH AS SEEN FROM THE MOON, Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1967

A film that is like a pearl from a necklace that has broken but that we still remember. It ends with a moral: “To be dead or alive is the same thing."