Lia Costa: “Ideal Motherhood Is a Matter of Capitalism”

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The protagonist of ‘Cinco Lobitos’ reflects on being a mother in both reality and fiction

Actress Lia Costa.
Actress Lia Costa.Taylor Jewel/Invision/AP

He doesn’t remember (or doesn’t want to) if the nickname they gave him on the school basketball team was from his parents or simply from his character. The fact that legend (let’s leave it at that) says that at some point in her life Lia Costa (Barcelona, ​​1985) turned her head if she heard someone calling her Huracani, Be that as it may, and to continue with the myth, its role five wolves, the dazzling directorial debut of Alauda Ruiz de Aaza, It is worthy of the scream of a tornado, a cyclone or an ordinary storm. Following her victorious route through the Berlinale, her success in Málaga has become even greater (golden Biznaga and prizes for both her and Susie Sanchez). Now, this Friday, it opens and although it is not hurricane season, the job of the most international Spanish actress is to pull it off.

What’s the truth in that storm?
I don’t think surname ever defined me. it’s a joy Intoxicating drink,
How Much Has Lia Costa Changed Since the 2015 Success of the German Film Victoria Until now?
That German film that won the Berlinale was, so to speak, my moment of maturity. And Cinco Lobitos holds a very important place in my career. This is a very special project that means both a return to work after the pandemic and a return to Spanish cinema. Prior to this, he had only done the Foodie Love series in Spain with Isabelle Coixet. I think it’s come full circle, and even more so after seeing how Alauda’s film has had an impact at the Berlinale as well. It’s like coming home, it’s like turning off a bicycle.
Does it hurt to be recognized outside more than inside?
No, I’m not sorry I’m not recognized in Spain. If you do American independent cinema, you limit the audience. And I understand it. Anyway, I find it hard to differentiate between inside and outside. I live everything as a continuum. To me everything is a cake. And I think it’s a generational issue. I have worked in many cities and in all of them I have met people from all over the world.
When you are about to become a new mother, isn’t it superfluous to play the role of a new mother?
guineas of five wolves It came to me when I was three months pregnant. And it was almost certain. Whatever the film picked up, it happened to me. And I was interested to investigate it. We started shooting the year I gave birth and that’s how the film begins. I only made the condition that it should be shot with real kids and not dolls.
The director spoke of incomplete motherhood…
Yes, I will speak of imperfection and above all, uncertainty. Today becoming a mother is a difficult situation. There are no assistants. Earlier there was a tribe which used to protect. Now, in this society, individualism matters a lot.
What the film talks about is the ideal image of a mother…
There are only two types of mothers in the world of cinema: a perfect mother who always makes up and sleeps through the night without any trouble, and a courageous mother who fights valiantly. Well, no, between that white and black is all gray, which is where the truth lies.
What bothers you most about this idealization?
Why is it never talked about why you can’t sleep? This is the No. 1 method of torture. You go from sleeping to not sleeping for months. They are very simple things that are hidden. You stop having neurons in your head: the baby brain as they’re called. The kid doesn’t care that you can’t read. I believe that many things are not talked about because they are taken lightly. And it hurts everyone as a tab. It’s not forbidden to talk about how bad it is when you’re a mother, but no one does. And this creates a lot of misunderstandings and contradictions
for example?
Something very simple. WHO recommends on-demand breastfeeding for up to six months, but at work they only give you four for free. And this is without bearing in mind that there are many jobs in which you are not allowed to express your milk.
And whose responsibility is it?
Capitalist society is interested in that ideal or idealized image of motherhood because that way you don’t lose productive time with your children. It is interesting that you are a mother, but without stopping working.
And where is paternity in this argument?
Here we return to uncertainty. The uncertainty in which young people all live, including more responsible parenthood than in previous generations. The concept exists, the ideas are clear, but I think the patriarchy has no tools to change the rules of the game.
As we think about how to change the rules to achieve fair labor relations, how do you see the changes that are intended to be introduced for sick leave due to painful periods?
I have to put in a battery because I’m too disconnected for work. I shoot for 14 or 15 hours a day. Between that and that little girl, I don’t know what day I live. But I find it interesting that more and more conversations are taking place and talking about things that were not touched upon earlier. It has to be celebrated. It is always wise to open the doors of debate. We all know someone who has painful rules that make them unable to function.
In the film, her character almost lost her job due to motherhood. Considering that your motherhood runs parallel to filming, how has it affected you professionally?
My work and my motherhood, both of us, have been affected above all by the pandemic. I found myself living in the United States with closed borders. I spent the first 13 months as a mom dedicated exclusively to being a mom. The amazing thing is that I haven’t remembered anything about my daughter. But, on the other hand, I have had to do it completely alone, without any tribe and help. There were days when I couldn’t even drink a cup of coffee.

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