Anna, a must see, from tonight on Arte (review)

Sky Studios / Arte France

The new series from the creator of Il Miracolo, an intense dark tale about childhood and the end of innocence, arrives tonight on Arte. Not far from being a (very) large.

Two months after it was put online on the Arte.TV online platform, Anna, new nugget from the creator ofIl Miracolo, arrives this Thursday in prime time on Arte for two exceptional evenings (continuation and end on November 11).

The starting card immediately gives the series another dimension. In Anna, his novel, released in 2015, which he himself adapts today, the transalpine author Niccolò Ammaniti had imagined that an epidemic was sweeping the elderly in his path. A starting postulate, necessarily disturbing … but above all the means to tell something else. An environment without adults, where the youngest would have recomposed a chaotic and violent society (we necessarily think of His Majesty of the Flies) by being torn by the fear of growing up. There, in the ruins of this world before, a young girl sets out on a journey to meet the most cruel realities to find her little brother who has disappeared …

Widely praised, the experience Il Miracolo was a first in Ammaniti’s career (his debut on a series) and was an exception, far from his obsessions as a novelist. He often made children of his heroes to describe their torments. With Anna, he literally comes back to it. Five years after its publication, he revisits his novel while retaining its substance, but changing the situations and the dynamics between the characters. If adapting is betraying, the series would not have been possible without this ruse, at the risk of appearing boring, says Ammaniti. We can only agree with him. In the image, the series, a sort of Alice in the land of horrors anchored in the present, is complementary, and even richer than its base. It is by taking advantage of the baroque settings of Sicily, in shots that reflect his search for a balanced framing and constant chromatic games, that the author, who has become a full-fledged director, redeploys his story, at the height of the tale. morbid he tells.

Existential quest interspersed with encounters, Anna above all showcases the force of the imagination as a balm for ordinary cruelty. An outlet on the paths of a childhood misled by disease and death, del Toro style in his Pan’s Labyrinth (sublime sequence of the puppet theater). Its weakness is to highlight the subject, where the suggestion seemed welcome. Like when an over-explanatory voice-over reduces the scope of the final sound. Not enough to mar the emotional force of the story, the birth certificate of an impressive young actress, Giulia Dragotto. She carries the series, going through hell without flinching.

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