Director, Tom Volf, is clearly a Maria Callas fan and he has made this film for others who share his passion.
There’s no narration or intermingled commentary as is done with most current day documentaries. Instead, Volf stays true to the title and lets “Maria” present “Callas” by splicing together home movies, media clips, TV interviews, performance footage, photos, and letters written by Callas and read by actor Joyce Di Donato. The Maria/Callas distinctions are made by Callas herself who saw a division between “Maria”, her natural self, and “Callas”, the lauded and adored Opera singer whom she acknowledged as a constructed persona. It’s an intriguing insight into a truly fascinating and genuinely captivating woman who is always poised, moderate, and considered in her speech and presentation.
There are several full-length performance sequences, some in which the film quality is unfortunately not great, and these contribute to the film feeling just a little too long at two hours. Fans won’t complain though.
Reviewed by Rita Bratovich