The White Space

Lo spazio bianco

The White Space

Francesca Bertini (Artist), Francesca Comencini

»Since adolescence I have had to (…) defend the right of women not to have children. And this was mainly against men who weren‘t even fathers themselves. And then I became pregnant when I was twenty. From this moment on I had children, who held on tight to me. And so this film gave me the opportunity to talk about the thing I know most about: what it means to be a mother.«
– Francesca Comencini

Maria works as a teacher and lives alone. After a one-night-stand  she becomes pregnant, but the baby is born prematurely and it is questionable whether her daughter will survive. She spends two months in the hospital by her side, waiting. Waiting to see whether her daughter will live or die. But Maria is used to living her own life and making her own decisions. The months she spends hoping that her daughter will be able to leave the incubator are demoralising. In the loneliness of this spazio bianco, a room surrounded by white curtains, Maria tries to confront her existential fears, find her inner peace and dedicate herself to her child who is in need of protection. Lo Spazio Bianco is based on the short story of the same name by Valeria Parrella.


Francesca Comencini


Francesca Comencini, Federica Pontremoli


Luca Bigazzi


Massimo Fiocchi


Allessandro Zanon


Nicola Tescari


Margherita Buy, Antonia Truppo, Gaetano Bruno, Giovanni Ludeno, Guido Caprino, Maria Palato, Salvatore Cantalupo


Domenico Procacci


Fandango Portobello Sales

Francesca Bertini (Artist)

Francesca Bertini was an Italian film actress and was considered the diva of the Italian silent film era. Her collaboration with Ugo Falena for the Film d’Arte Italiana company laid the groundwork for her career, which culminated in her numerous leading roles of the late 1910s (La maestrina, Assunta Spina). Subsequently, she gradually withdrew from the film business. In 1976, Bernardo Bertolucci convinced her to accept the role of Sister Desolata in his epic film 1900.

Portrait of director Francesca Comencini

Francesca Comencini

In 1982, Francesca Comencini gave up studying philosophy and moved to France. Although she originally wanted to be a writer, in 1985 she made the autobiographical film Pianoforte, which won  the Da Sica award at the Venice film festival. Mi piace lavorare (Mobbing) won the prize of the ecumenical jury at the 2004 Berlin international film festival as the  best film in the Panorama section. In 2001, Comencini herself was a jury member at the Venice film festival, and in 2005 she was awarded the order of merit of the Italian Republic. In 2010, Comencini was a jury member of the Berlin international film festival.

Films by Francesca Comencini
In fabbrica 2007 | A casa nostra 2006 | Mi piace lavorare (Mobbing) 2004 | Carlo Giuliani, ragazzo 2002 | Un altro mondo è possibile 2001 | La parole di mio padre 2011 | Elsa Morante 1997 | Annabel partagée 1991 | La lumiére du lac 1988 | Pianoforte 1985