My essentials: Christine Francalanza’s cultural picks

109 | Christine Francalanza, 44 years, assistant head and actress

1. Book

Il-Ġenn li jżommni f’sikkti – Trevor Zahra’s autobiography. The author is an ex-teacher of mine, and we have also worked on theatrical productions together, so it was nostalgic for me when the book mentions episodes from when Trevor was a teacher at the school I attended. The title struck me, and I use it when I refer to myself and the theatre. I was also intrigued by the story of his first marriage. In fact, following this book, I went ahead and bought another book of his ‘Stella jien u Hu’. I read that in a couple of days when I was sick and cried my heart out. I am always intrigued by the different stories people go through.

2. Film

My busy life does not leave me time to watch films, and lately, I prefer TV series instead. Having said that, if I had to mention a film that comes to mind, I would say The Greatest Showman, a musical, a feast of colours and dance, a good story, powerful songs which you can sing to, what else can a girl want.

3. TV/Internet 

Recently, I watched The American Nightmare on Netflix, a short docu-series about a kidnap. I started it by coincidence while I was at the nail technician, but I was so intrigued that I went home and continued watching it. What impressed me the most about this story was the fact that the victim was still questioned and negatively judged by the judicial system and the media instead of being given help and support. It also made me think about the responsibility each person holds to look for the absolute truth instead of continuing to judge based on what they hear on different media channels.

4. Music

I love to listen to different genres of music, both local and foreign. If I had to mention two singers I admire, they would be Ira Losco and PINK. They are both near my age, both mothers and both very successful. I admire Ira Losco for her talent, lyrics and vocals. She made a name here in Malta based on her abilities, and she remained current throughout the years. She is also down to earth, which I admire. Regarding PINK, one of the first albums I had of hers was Missundaztood. I admire how she deals with so many different topics in her songs and for being a fashion rebel.

5. Place

I will keep this local and say Valletta. I love cities, so why not start with our own? I rarely go to Valletta unless I am rehearsing there, but when I do, I park in Floriana and take in the whole entrance, from the Triton’s fountain onwards. I love how my feet start rushing as soon as I enter, as if somehow, it’s a race with all the pedestrians coming and going. I love walking in the middle of a road with no cars and seeing buildings which take you back through time. Also, it is where I go to do what I love: shopping, eating, acting or watching a play, so visiting is also a feel-good factor.