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Peruvian director/screenwriter/producer Claudia Llosa's film "Aloft" features a woman who becomes admired for her powers; the same, it seems, could be said of Llosa, whose film debuted Wednesday in Berlin.
"I sat down with Claudia, and completely fell in love," said Jennifer Connelly, who plays Nana, a mother who abandons her young son; she later becomes a mysterious and celebrated author and healer.
"I had pretty much the same experience," agreed Cillian Murphy, who plays that son, Ivan, as an adult. Referring to the script, which Connelly called "remarkable," Murphy said, "If something's that's moving on the page, then you have a good chance of it being moving on screen."
In the intense drama, faith and forgiveness are at stake when a young journalist (Mélanie Laurent) tracks down Nana's son Ivan, and the two take a treacherous trek above the Arctic Circle to find the nomadic Nana.
"I cried when I read the script the first time. In fact I cried every time I read it," said Laurent, enthusing, "The experience was just magical." The international press seemed to agree, welcoming the film with applause at a screening.
Llosa's film "The Milk of Sorrow" won the 2009 Golden Bear for Best Film in Berlin, and was the first Peruvian film to be nominated for a Best Foreign Film Oscar.
Claudia Llosa is the niece of noted novelist Mario Vargas Llosa; her father Luis is also a film director. "Aloft" does not yet have a US opening date, but has been picked up for American distribution by Sony Pictures Classics.