Review of “Persefone,” directed by Grazia Tricarico

If you never thought the words “necrophilia” and “gorgeous” could be in the same sentence, you haven’t seen “Persefone” yet. An official selection of the 26th annual New Orleans Film Festival, I had the honor of attending the screening a few weeks ago with the director, (e mia amica nuova), Grazia Tricarico. Although only about fifteen minutes in length, this short film explores the force that propels a young boy to follow through with the act of sleeping with a female corpse he encounters at sea. Not to reveal too much, but like the Greek myth of Hades and Persephone, the boy traps her in his own “underworld” of sorts. You can only marvel at the screen and wonder what gears are turning through the boys mind-is it plain curiosity, a much anticipated longing, or the intoxication that power and ultimate control produce?

As for the gorgeous part-the mise-en-scene is as well calculated as it is beautiful. Each frame is more gorgeous than the next thus allowing the viewer to feel connected to the characters rather than immediately disgusted. Even with minimal dialogue, this film has so many layers you can peel back for hours of discussion. With a passion for the taboo, Tricarico somehow manages to extract the “gross” factor of the topic and paint a new picture; one that invites you into the mind of a boy who happens to be a necrophiliac.

Grazie, Grazia.

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