Grief, marital separation experienced as mourning, then darkness and collapsing. ‘I miss you my love’: a woman says to her gone husband. Lisa chooses the closet as the place of revelations, it becomes her world, her whole perspective.
Grief, marital separation experienced as mourning, then darkness and collapsing. ‘I miss you my love’: a woman says to her gone husband. Lisa chooses the closet as the place of revelations, it becomes her world, her whole perspective. “Tina, don’t be scared. I’m sitting in the closet, and I want to be in here. Don’t take me for a fool and don’t ask me questions.” Lisa tells the maid, she does so in the dim light: she locks herself in her bedroom closet and peeks through a crack. In fact, she decides to reclaim a space and a time of emptiness, the emptiness that her husband has caused by emptying the closet forever to move out of the house. She searches there, in a bare closet, for the reasons of her separation and change. It’s the place where she processes the separation, a place of mourning. Daniele, Lisa, Sveva and Paolo are, or rather were, an apparently perfect bourgeois family. The father is not there, the mother is in hibernation. Paolo tells his mother: ‘The teacher said that in winter turtles hibernate. Are you like them?”. That’s the sentence that gives the film its title. Sveva, the 15-year-old daughter, does not accept this… hibernation. “‘Mom, how long do you want to play hide and seek?” “Forgive me, Sveva: I don’t want to leave here. I miss his scent and scent is the first thing you miss,” she replies. Daniele’s scent. He is the father, the husband who won’t ever go back home (‘in tennis, whoever leaves a match unfinished is not brave but a coward’, Sveva shakes him when she meets him during a game), but Lisa will succeed, thanks to the love of her children and a new-found strength in taking the first step towards overcoming her pain. ‘My film started with an image: an empty closet. This is the surreal part,’ says director Monica Dugo. “The closet is no longer a thing, an object, but becomes a character and the door of the closet becomes the confessional’.