A complex construction site, New York’s skyline in the distance, and fresh betrayal. Stane is in charge on-site, soon to inherit the family business from her father, who built it up as a Croatian immigrant also building the American dream. But Stane’s marriage is under threat of demolition. What ensues is a public reckoning between traditional, patriarchal expectations made upon wives versus Stane’s own pain and anger. But Stane is building her own life story though — outside of the permission of men.
STANE, a film by Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović, is the 26th commission from Miu Miu Women’s Tales. The acclaimed short-film series invites today’s most profound and original female directors to investigate vanity and femininity in the 21st century.
Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović (b.1985) is a Dubrovnik-born and New York based Croatian and American screenwriter and filmmaker. Her directorial feature debut, Murina, executive produced by Martin Scorsese, premiered at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival in the Directors Fortnight section, and was honored with the Caméra d'Or Award presented to the Best First Film, subsequently garnering critical acclaim to become one of the Best Films of 2022. Murina was nominated for three Film Independent Spirit Awards, including Best First Feature, Best Breakthrough Performer and Best Cinematography. Her short-film, Into the Blue, was awarded at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival.
“What does it mean to ‘give women power’ and ‘put women in power’?” says Kusijanovic. “I constantly hear it and I’m conflicted about that expression — power that is ‘given’ then also can be ‘taken’ away.” Stane reflects Kusijanović’s belief that, “sensuality needs to breathe through everything.” Although all her films, including this latest episode for Miu Miu Women’s Tales, invariably deal with the plight of women, Kusijanović admits that she never thinks first, “through politics or social message. I always start from character.” And from there the “issues of the world naturally emerge.”
Stane’s themes are specific to her own culture but also universal: the sacrifices women must make to uphold the fabric of society; the familial frictions felt between generations of immigrants; cultural norms and private disquiet; the asymmetry of honour and dishonour between genders.
Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović’s new episode for Women’s Tales will be premiered at the Venice Film Festival’s “Giornate degli Autori” on September 3rd 2023 along with a screening of “Eye two times mouth” by Lila Avilés. The short is afterwards available on Miu Miu digital channels.
STANE will be available to stream on MUBI globally from September 4th.