Antonia’s Line

Nothing dies forever; a little something always remains from which something new can grow… Well, there’s nothing for it; life’s got to be lived.”

When I first watched the film Antonia’s Line I didn’t even know how was to be a mother, but I very much wanted to be just like Antonia: a strong, sturdy woman with a sincere smile, far removed from Hollywood standards of perfection, but infused with a natural glow and warmth that made her truly charming. This is something my own sophisticated mother would never comprehend, but to me, such simplicity has always been the kind of beauty I’ve always strived to achieve.

What draws me particularly to Antonia is by far her personality. She forges her own path, plays by her own rules and always brings her own sense of spirituality and kindness to everything she does. Perfectly content and satisfied without a man—although she cares deeply for one, she refuses to become his wife. Antonia is swift and reasonable in her quest for fairness and integrity; she takes the law into her own hands when she discovers her grand-daughter Thérèse has been raped, silently and calmly picking up a shotgun, invading the male world of the bar and demanding justice. What a courage and serenity in the middle of such a crisis!

And God, she’s generous!! The old wooden table in her garden is a reflection of her soul. That particular table reminded me the one my grandparents used to have in their house at the Provence, with the huge difference that Antonia always welcomed a bunch of strangers in hers. And this is something I’ve always tried to accomplish with less fortune I must say, since my family never understood hospitality the way I did. They always wondered why I regularly picked up less fortunate people from the street and invited them to come over for lunch or even New Year’s Eve. I have wished so much to have an extended family, many friends and unexpected strangers who would tell stories from the far seas, wherever they might be.

The whole film celebrates life and love, philosophy and sexual pleasure, and every other form of creative expression—painting, music, mathematics, you name it. There is no hierarchy of ideas and ideologies; everyone and everything done in kindness is equally honoured.

Happy Mother’s Day!!!


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