Ignorant Fairies (His Secret Life) (2001)

Impressions: The film opens with a sequence showing a woman who seems to be leading a very happy, if not perfect life.  She is married to a great guy, she has an important job where she is respected. Ok, maybe she doesn’t get along with her housekeeper. A major tragic event interrupts her life, and leads her to seek answers to her past, which leads her into a world completely foreign to her.  Through her sadness and confusion, she slowly gets sucked into this world, and keeps revisiting it. The communal type life, the fabulous Sunday meals on a gorgeous terrace overlooking rooftops of Rome are all so attractive that she soon becomes a part of that community.  The shots of food preparation, the splashes of color, the colorful characters, they are all like something very much out of an Almodovar movie. Who wouldn’t want to be preparing food with these people every Sunday?

Facts: A sudden tragic event, leads a woman into a world she knew nothing about, and sends her on a major re-evaluation of her identity and place in the world.

Extras: In 2001 when I saw this film, it was titled Ignorant Fairies. For some reason for the American distribution it got renamed into His Secret Life. This is still my favorite movie I have ever seen during 11 years of going to TIFF and probably close to a 100 movies. Getting to see it by not making the line to another one, made it even more of a treat, and actually inspired the way I do festivals from then on: always open to serendipity and suggestions, and very light on prep and background, because my favorites have always been the ones that did not sound interesting when I read the descriptions. It’s maybe also inspired how I live my life, but that’s a whole other post :).