The new Italian series will be available in streaming with all the episodes from February 15th.
There are two Lydia Poët. The real one, born in 1855 and years later became the first woman in Italy to enter the Order of Lawyers, with extreme difficulty in a historical moment in which, although everything was changing, talking about gender equality they laughed in your face. And an imaginary one, because little is known of her first, of her life beyond her very important contribution, and it is the one that Guido Iuculano e David Orsini they created for Netflix. She, the second Lidia, is the protagonist of the new Italian series Lidia Poët’s law, available on the streaming service with all episodes from Wednesday 15 February. Now, chances are the name sounds new to you and you may have never heard of it before Netflix made it a series. Just as it is likely that, after watching the first episode, you will feel the need to find out more about this Italian who lived over a century ago. Or, at least, you’ll want to spend more time with her on screen, even for the skill and energy with which Matilda De Angelis portrays her.
Who is Lidia Poët?
Lydia Poët”she is a hypermodern woman born in the wrong century” explained Orsini, adding that he was struck by lightning when his name popped up during the research work on Turin at the end of the 19th century that he and Iuculano were carrying out. “We completely fell in love with it. We have seen in her this spark of unconventionality and at the same time of wishful thinking which made sure that, despite someone telling her they couldn’t do something, she continued to do it. By making compromises of all kinds, without shouting. And yet, Lidia “it is a cyclone, affecting the lives of others and that somehow, slowly, like a Chinese drop, it rounded off, entered and dug the rock. And we’re here today to talk about why he is a perfectly symbolic character of the times we are living in“.
“It’s not (however) a biography,” added Iuculano. Lidia Poët’s law is a light historical thriller in which each episode (six were filmed) follows a different case as it enters the life of the protagonist, imagining precisely the difficulties, challenges and also the family and sentimental dynamics. “It is not the true story of Lidia, nor was it our intention to tell the true story of Italy’s first lawyer. She is a fictional character. The point is that fantasy never works from scratch, but is based on real elements If you make a series of this type, you work on historical data.So we took some elements: your name and surname, your date of birth, the fact that you had a brother named Enrico with whom you worked. The sentence of the Court of Appeal that opens the series is word for word the sentence that was pronounced by the Tribunal of Turin when the Prosecutor of the Kingdom objected to the registration of Miss Lidia, a law graduate, with the Order of Lawyers of the city of Turin”.
“In reality, she continued to practice law because her brother was a lawyer. And many things could be done in writing without appearing; she often prepared her brother’s work,” continued the screenwriter. “This paradox in which she emerged seemed very powerful to us. A woman who does one thing, that no one recognizes, but she knows how to do and therefore does it. Even if she was not a lawyer, she is the first lawyer in Italy. And it is thanks to a radically non-conformist spirit, which for us is the beating heart of the series. This series is a hymn to the ability not to adjust to how the world sees thingshow the world sees you, what they tell you to do, how they tell you to dress, how they tell you to be.”
The law of Lidia Poët: A true story seasoned with other suggestions
We are therefore in the Turin at the end of the 19th century. “A strange place where strange people live. A theater of the world, a synthesis of the times that are about to come. A pyrotechnic, excessive, contradictory, magniloquent, self-destructive city. Also a city where you kill and end up in prison. And where lawyers do a brisk business“, as Netflix describes it. Greenland, which produces the series, and the directors Matthew Oak e Letizia Lamartire, along with the rest of the production team, have done a remarkable job of conveying an authentic and rich image of the city, the era and the way of life of the period. When a sentence prevents Lidia Poët (De Angelis), enrolled in the Turin Bar Association, from practicing the profession because she is a woman, she, outraged and offended, does not lose heart, convinces her brother Enrico (Pier Luigi Pasino), a lawyer and a man perfectly integrated in his time, to make her work as a paralegal to make ends meet, while preparing the appeal to overturn the conclusions of the Court. Misunderstood by society and her family – not only by her brother and sister-in-law Teresa (Sarah Lazarus, DOC), but also from her father -, Lidia rolls up her sleeves and fights to get what she deserves. With courage, ingenuity, boldness. Against many prejudices. Always affirming their independence and emancipation, distrusting love for this too. Real love, not that penny made to satisfy a craving—she looks a bit, just like it can happen to a man.
From this point of view, however, something seems to creak when Lidia meets the charming Jacopo Barberis, brother of Teresa. A fictional character played by Eduardo ScarpettaJacopo is a young journalist who lives for the day, ironic and with political views very different from the conservative ones of his family. He sees a light in Lidia that he hasn’t seen in any other woman, certainly none he’s spent time with without clothes on. At the level of character, the complicity between the two is immediate, despite some teasing. But before recognizing to themselves that they might want something more from each other, and Jacopo hides the scars of a love story in Paris that apparently ended badly, the two discover formidable accomplices in the search for the truth about the cases that involve the clients of the firm.
Lidia Poët, the feminist who speaks to our time
The director and producer Matteo Rovere talked about how the goal was to create a product that can entertain, amuse, but be the bearer of a story that speaks of the present and contains current themes. “I believe that Lidia is a character who continually resonates with our time” she said. “She is the bearer of an obviously important theme, often even complex to tell because, it is useless to hide it from us, to date, gender equality is an issue that is absolutely far from being considered outdated. There is a lot of talk about it but then, in fact, if we look at many simple situations that affect the lives of all of us, in my opinion, there is still a result to be achieved. Lidia also represents progress, the contemporary that presses with respect to every historical situation. We take her to a world that is apparently far from ours but with a mentality that is the one that Matilda has been able to build with great empathy and acting ability, because deep down she speaks like a person of our time”.
Lidia’s dramatic battle, however told in a light tone, was “an enormous privilege” for De Angelis. The actress, who continues to prove herself to be one of the most capable young interpreters of Italian cinema and TV of our times, is also appreciated in The Undoing e Leonardoshe added: “It was a privilege just to be able to get up close and vaguely touch the story and caliber of a woman who really made the history of feminism and beyond. And I am very happy that the story and life of this woman who, perhaps, unfortunately is still little known. This series is definitely an excuse to really get to know her. It’s very, very important that these stories get written. I first, as an actress, as a woman, am flattered when given the opportunity to play such central roles, so strong, so important, imbued with character and strength. I tried to give it as many nuances as possible and to make it determined and light at the same time. To also make her fallible, for she was perhaps an interesting trait of such a fragile heroine.” And when she was pointed out to her as her Lidia is also a woman who does not give up on being sexy, sexually free, who loves to have fun and loves to loveDe Angelis cut it short by saying: “She’s a woman! All these things should be enclosed in her being a woman. She can do everything. Incredible, she can do everything!”.
Lamartire, who directed more than half of the first season’s episodes, said he especially loved “the awareness of this character.” And she added: “Lidia is never a victim in this series. She’s just right. She faces everything with a force that stirs consciences. He is a character who tries to break down the pieces of a world made by men and for men. Starting from her family, she begins to smooth the edges of the people closest to her and then expands to a context in which women are not allowed. And all this with irony and intelligence”. Lidia Poët’s law “I think it is a necessary project, in its themes, and it is a modern project. We took advantage of Lidia’s modernity to talk about very lively issues and to talk about our history”.
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