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‘The Wonders’ Director Alice Rohrwacher Explores the Hypnotic Power of Television

The Wonders director Alice Rohrwacher talks to Film Comment about her latest film, about the oldest daughter of a rural, bohemian family who becomes entranced by a television competition.

Says Rohrwacher about her relationship to television (which she did not grow up with), “On one hand, the thing about TV is its hypnotic power. I’m hypnotized by it. The same way that fairy tales have hypnotic power, because these magic elements hypnotize you. But in reality, these same elements can be quite dangerous and very negative. In Italian there’s a fairy tale called ‘Prezzemolina, about a little girl who is given a series of tasks to save her mother from fairies, but all along her path are these little distractions, these little things that are trying to take her away from what she is trying to accomplish. I wanted to relieve myself of this—to say that TV is really inside a tomb, it’s already dead—and I wanted to look at it with a certain tenderness, as if it belonged to a kind of stone age.”