More well-known as an author than for films Margaret Mazzantini never-the-less has left her indelible mark in Italian cinema. The wife of Sergio Castellito, Margaret will be forever remembered for her collaboration with her husband on the 2004 movie Non Ti Muovere (Don’t Move).
Non Ti Muovere was first an award-winning novel written by Mazzantini; she won the coveted Strega Book Award, the most important Italian literary prize. The book remains one of my favorite, and the discussion (it was more of an argument) with my book club was intense. Is it a love story or a tale of violence against women? You can decide for yourself; you can buy the book, translated into English, on Amazon.
I’ve called Non Ti Muovere one of the 30 best films since 2000; it stars Castellito, Claudia Gerini, and Penelope Cruz as the prostitute Italia, a unflattering role that only a very brave actress would take. With Sergio directing and acting and Margaret as the screenwriter, this film went on to win David di Donatellos, Nastro D’Argentos, Italian Golden Globes, European Film Awards, and other film festival honors.
Born in Dublin in 1961, Margaret is the daughter of the writer Carlo Mazzantini and the painter Anne Donnelly. When she was three the family moved to Tivoli where she grew up, attending the National Accademy of Dramatic Arts.
Primarily a theatrical actress, she began her career in a 1980 horror film called Antropofago. (We’d better ask Nigel Maskell at The Italian Film Review about that one.) It was on a movie set that she met Sergio Castellito and they married in 1987, going on to have four children. Margaret and Sergio gave all of their children the middle name of either “Contento” or “Contenta”, which means “happy”, a name that seems appropriate for this famous family. Her son, Pietro has been trying his hand at acting as well.
Happy Birthday Margaret! Auguri!