Due Partite by Cristina Comencini

February 10, 2013 § Leave a comment

Due Partite is a novel (play) written by Cristina Comencini that explores the theme of feminism in a very interesting way.

Act I consists of four bourgeois women sitting around a table in the 1960’s, playing cards and talking about life.  They each have a husband and a child (or, soon to have), and their own regrets/secrets/desires/dreams/opinions.  There is Gabriella, who gave up  playing piano in order to be a mother.  There is Claudia, who seems to be the ‘perfect woman’ for her family.  There is Sofia, who keeps a hidden lover.  And there is Beatrice, who feels that she is in an ideal relationship with her husband and is eagerly awaiting the birth of their daughter.  Act I ends with Beatrice going into labor…

…then, fast forward twenty years or so…

Act II features four young ladies, all dressed in black.  Cecilia, daughter of Claudia, craves a child but cannot produce one.  Rossana, daughter of Sofia, is trying to balance work and her husband.  Sara, daughter of Gabriella, is a musician and tries to accept her husband’s devotion.  And Giulia, daughter of Beatrice, is trying to understand her relationship with an older man.  It is the day of the funeral of one of their mothers, and they reflect upon how life has changed.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  The story of generations shows the interesting passage of time, and how ideologies, people, and desires change.  And while there are no blatant speeches about the feminist movement that swept through Italy during these years, the change that it produced during the 70’s is easy to notice.


“Un giorno esisterà la fanciulla e la donna, il cui non significherà più soltanto un contrapposto al maschile, ma qualcosa per se’, qualcosa per cui non si penserà a completamento e confine, ma solo a vita reale: l’umanità femminile.  E questo progresso trasformerà l’esperienza dell’amore, che ora e’ piena d’errore, la muterà dal fondo, la riplasmera’ in una relazione da essere umano a essere umano, non piu da maschio a femmina.  E questo più umano amore somiglierà a quello che noi faticosamente prepariamo, all’amore che in questo consiste:  due solitudini si custodiscano, delimitino e salutino a vicenda.”


Due Partite was also made into a movie in 2008, directed by Enzo Monteleone.  Trailer can be seen here.  Starring Margherita Buy, Isabella Ferrari, Marina Massironi, Paola Cortellesi, Carolina Crescentini, Valeria Milillo, Claudia Pandolfi, and Alba Rohrwacher.

Also, for those fond of theatre, you can watch the entire production as seen at the Teatro Valle di Roma here.


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