Based on his recollections of Marco Franzoso’s novel Il bambino Indaco, Saverio Costanzo’s claustrophobic fourth feature Hungry Hearts sees a mother’s obsession with maintaining the purity of her new child put her husband’s love and trust to the ultimate test. We joined Costanzo at the London Film Festival to discuss how working at a lower budget freed him to aim for the art at the centre of his story.

Hungry Hearts (2014)

Jude is American, Mina is Italian. They meet by chance in New York City. A whirlwind romance ensues – they get married and she becomes pregnant. A brand new life for both of them. From the early months of pregnancy, a strong motherly instinct signals to Mina that she is bearing a special child. In order to respect nature, she obsessively protects him from the contamination of the outside world and struggles to preserve his total purity. Jude, for the love of Mina, goes with her, but only up to the point when he faces a terrible truth: his son is not growing and his life is in danger. Jude must act quickly. A perversive battle of suspicions and resentments begins between Jude and Mina which, in a desperate search for a solution, leads to everyone’s reasons getting mixed up.

Maybe everything started with my need of observing. Observing is my favourite action.

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