“Spiaggia Libera” by Ludovica Zedda (2022)
A beautiful summer day intensely illuminates a barren pine forest on the Sardinian coast. Torrid heat, in the distance the heady scent of saltiness: with umbrella on their shoulders, Roberto and young Matilde reach the longed-for beach, ready to enjoy a peaceful day at the beach. Yet something is amiss; the father-daughter relationship between the two protagonists is cold, far from confidential, while the seemingly superficial dialogues hint at an obvious upset.
In the short film made by Ludovica Zedda, the “Free Beach” that gives its name to the title is nothing more than an allegorical place, dense with meaning, reflecting the inner restlessness of the two main characters, whose fractured relationship still bears the fresh scars of a divorce that is particularly difficult to overcome. It is a complex situation: on the one hand, the fears and (curious) worries of a looming adolescence fuel an already extremely delicate generational contrast; on the other hand, the placid and secluded atmosphere of the coast evokes sweet memories of a love that is now past and irretrievable, clouding a present that, inexorably, slips away.
Giving in to the swaying motion of the waves and surrendering to a cathartic, liberating dance can only help to resurrect a memory that is still terribly vivid. But, after all, unlike a pair of broken sandals, not everything can be repaired. To cross the border of incommunicability and overcome the immense bitterness of a broken bond, it is necessary to move on, to continue on one’s way. Perhaps the only solution is really to give up, surrender for a moment to the gentle lightness of the wind and, finally, let go.
– Emidio Sciamanna