Anna's Summer | Chicago Reader

Anna's Summer

This seems to be a time for radiant over-50 women coping with loss, cf Charlotte Rampling in Under the Sand. In Jeanine Meerapfel's latest film, Anna's Summer, Anna (Angela Molina) returns to her family's Greek-island home after the death of her husband. As the sole survivor of the family and thus the sole repository of its history, she's haunted by memories—she turns a corner of the villa and steps into sun-drenched afternoons peopled with long-gone relatives raising their glasses in a toast. Sitting down on the beach for a snack, she's soon bookended by her husband and her long-dead father, both offering advice and felicitations on her abalone-cracking expertise. Some of the memories don't belong to Greece; unfolding a sweater transports her to a former residence in Germany. And some of the memories don't even belong to her; they belong to her Jewish grandmother Anna, who died at Auschwitz, and her father's beloved mistress Anna, dead of tuberculosis in a Swiss sanitarium. Minor but convincingly atmospheric, Anna's Summer overlaps times, cultures, languages—Spanish, Greek, German, and English—in a way that at first overwhelms and then slowly comforts, forging an identity all the stronger for its patchwork oddities. 107 min.

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