Zen in the Ice Rift
New York Premiere
Dir. Margherita Ferri, Italy, 2018, 87 mins
Maia “Zen” Zenassi is a quick-tempered, nonconforming 16-year-old living in a provincial Italian mountain village. A standout on the local boys’ hockey team, Zen uses the sport as a vital outlet for rage, an escape from emotional vulnerability, and a stage for gender performance. While being scouted for the national women’s team, Zen develops an improbable friendship with a male teammate’s reluctant girlfriend, causing an icy demeanor to melt away as Zen finally shares a closely guarded desire to be a boy. Here, an open heart comes with mixed results. A brutally honest story of youth and life in the in-between that draws inspiration from BOYS DON’T CRY, Margherti Ferri’s second feature is marked by understated dialogue, beautiful shots of Italy’s Apennine Mountains, and a revelatory performance from newcomer Eleonora Conti that captures a queer unruliness that is seldom seen on screen.
Writer: Margherita Ferri
Cast: Eleonora Conti, Susanna Acchiardi, Fabrizia Sacchi