Reactions to Small Body

Small Body, the penultimate film of our 77th season achieved an overall appreciation score of 71%. Many members found this beautiful, haunting and sensitive while others found the film grim and implausible.  Some of the comments submitted:

  • Super bleak topic but a beautiful & sensitive film. Wonderful scenery & music. A riveting watch.
  • A fascinating depiction of Catholic doctrine and superstitions. Water, the Underworld and the pathetically stupid concept of Limbo. Beautifully shot and atmospheric.
  • Great movie – lovely scenery, depth to the characters and nice unexpected moments to the unfolding unusual story – all set to a brilliant musical score!
  • Despite the grim story I was pulled into it by its commitment to poor Agata’s lonely spiritual journey to baptise her stillborn daughter. I stayed hooked throughout until the magical end.
  • A quietly mesmeric film, exploring big ideas of religion, life, death and gender.
  • Loved it, extraordinary, if not perfect.
  • Filming uncomfortably jerky for prolonged periods but overall, very good.
  • I enjoyed it more than expected based on the description – I’d forgotten it was set in the 20th century, seemed almost medieval (although that was probably the point!).
  • A haunting examination of loss and the power of personal belief in a very rural turn of the century Italian setting…
  • An unusual and fascinating film; beautifully filmed, occasionally dragged a little, but enjoyable.
  • I found this very compelling both emotionally and visually. There were some ponderous moments but I liked the spare dialogue and atmospheric cinematography. The young man/woman at the end naming the baby was subtly touching.
  • Good film, but rather a miserable subject; also true of many films this season.
  • A daring and original film that stays in the mind. At its best it reminded me of the other – worldliness of Bergman’s The Virgin Spring or Pasolini’s The Gospel according to St Mathew. I did not like the way the sound was recorded-artificial amplified.
  • Didn’t enjoy Catholic Mumbo jumbo and heavy symbolism. Thought mother’s emotions powerfully portrayed.
  • The history behind this film was interesting and the cinematography excellent but I didn’t enjoy it. Too dreary and slow.
  • Another pretty grim film topic! And indeed the second film this season about transporting a dead body. Can we have some more light hearted films next season please?!
  • The film started well and gave the audience a good insight into the cultural and religious norms of Agata’s life. Her journey to achieve recognition of her dead baby daughter was harrowing and full of pitfalls but some of the characters were confusing and seemed superfluous to the story, for example Lynx’s parents. As the film neared the end, the storyline became odd and nonsensical, particularly when Agata lowered the baby into the water and consequently died. Then the reappearance of Lynx after Agata’s death seemed convenient for the story to conclude which was weak. Unfortunately, the film’s integrity was undermined in the final scene with an almost comical miracle breath of the dead baby during the baptism.
  • One of the worst films seen at CFS. The takes very painfully long, the singing voices piercing, the story surreal and the ending weak.