Alice Rohrwacher’s La Chimera (2023), the director’s fourth feature, opens with a young woman’s face, her glow, her blondeness. Rohrwacher is at once one of the most singular and most successful directors making films in Italy today. I look here at the distinct, full-throated critique of patriarchy and of machismo, in Italy and beyond, present in all her films but most forcefully in La Chimera. A vision of social and gender relations that transcend patriarchy, a refusal of indenture and violence, a focus on care for the earth and all living beings, orient her work and direct it toward the future. I see this as part of a broader project of antipatriarchal world making, one that depends not on the gender of the director or cinematographer, but on the vision the films propose: a vision realized in Rohrwacher’s cinema of poetry.

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