This International Women’s Day, we’re celebrating Susanna Nicchiarelli, the award-winning film producer who is shining a spotlight on female icons.
International Women’s Day has arrived, and if you’re looking for new movies about female icons to add to your watchlist, we recommend checking out Susanna Nicchiarelli’s work. Born and raised in Italy, Susanna is a renowned writer and director who’s made a global impact in the film industry with award-winning biopics about influential women who’ve sparked revolutions throughout history.
Now in Australia, her latest film, MISS MARX, is screening across cinemas nationwide until April 29, in honour of IWD.
MISS MARX is a punk-esque biopic that tells the story of Elanor Marx; a pioneering feminist, socialist and activist who fought for women’s rights in the 19th Century. Played by BAFTA and Golden Globe-nominated actress, Romola Garai, MISS MARX follows Elanor’s political journey in London as she takes part in protests advocating for worker’s rights, women’s rights, and the elimination of child labour during the 1800s.
Susanna says the biopic was created “as a timely reminder of the inevitable difficulties and contradictions of the fight for equality; extremely relevant to our times today.” After premiering at the Venice Film Festival back in 2020, MISS MARX took home three awards: Best Film, Best Dressmaker, and Soundtrack Stars Award.
Nicchiarelli’s latest film follows her former award-winning biopic, Nico, 1988. Released in 2017, it showcases the life of renowned German musician and model Nico, who sang on The Velvet Underground’s debut album. Described by Vogue as “a darkly beautiful and unflinching testament to a musical icon’s final years,” Susanna revealed her purpose behind producing the film in a 2018 Interview with Women and Hollywood:
“Telling her story permitted me to show the complexity of life, of an artist’s life, of a woman’s life: Nico’s life happened in between these two extremes, as everybody’s life does, and she did the most important things both artistically and existentially when she was not a celebrity anymore.”
MISS MARX’s lead actress, Romola Garai, told The HotCorn, “When I saw Nico, I suddenly understood there was an obsession in Susanna for these significant female figures who’ve been neglected by history. I think she feels a great obligation to introduce the world to these polymaths.”
She later added, “Nico was this incredible musician, Elanor Marx was this extraordinary figure, and their legacies have been very neglected. So I have a huge admiration for that project.”
Despite being set in the 1800s, MISS MARX is not your average period piece: “There’s a lot of punk music in it, sometimes the character speaks to camera…she’s made something that doesn’t fit in the box of a period film,” Romola told press at the Venice Film Festival in 2020.
As reported in The Guardian, “It’s unlikely that this tragic-fated socialist pioneer, the daughter of Karl Marx, ever enjoyed a punk-rock freakout after hitting the opium pipe, but that’s what happens here. Romola Garai going full Courtney Love makes for one of the film’s livelier tilts against biopic proprieties.”
Brought to Australia by Pivot Pictures in light of International Women’s Day, MISS MARX is out now in cinemas across the country. To find out where you can catch the film, check out cinema locations here.
Watch the trailer below.