The opening shot of Federico Gianotti’s Leni shows a young girl in a trashed apartment screaming on the floor, which tells you so much about what you are about to witness.
We follow Leni who we can figure from her lack of sleep, anxiety and dependance of caffeine, is the survivor of a traumatic incident.
Throughout the film we follow her journey as she begins to unravel her past whilst looking to lead some semblance of a ‘normal’ life.
For trauma survivors this will not be a comfortable watch by Gianotti is unwavering of his portrayal of trauma which is coupled with a stunning performance from Ailín Zaninovich as our titular character.
We see many examples of Leni trying to regain herself, whether through self defence classes or changing her hairstyle, this incident has clearly taken part of her identity and she is determined to create a new one.
Gianotti also explores the relationship dynamic and asks, is the fear of being alone or not loved what keeps unhappy couples together and what are the consequences of this?
Leni is also beautifully shot as well as a haunting and siren-like score from Jonathan Gejtman which pulsates at the right times.
Clocking in at a slight 74 minutes Leni, this film is crammed with social commentary and builds to a truly crushing conclusion.
One of the highlights of the Shockdown Saturdays programme thus far.
Leni screened as part of the Soho Horror Film Festival’s Shockdown Saturdays.