Paolo Sorrentino has established himself as an international presence with films like Youth (MVFF 2015) while forging a singular career exposing the foibles and corruption of Italy’s ruling class and the Catholic Church. His latest masterpiece, The Hand of God, is a departure, an ’80s-era autobiographical drama set in Sorrentino’s native Naples. Join us as MVFF throws a Spotlight on this fascinating auteur. —Pam Grady

Our Spotlight program features an onstage conversation with Paolo Sorrentino, moderated by Italian Cultural Institute of San Francisco director Annamaria Di Giorgio, as well as a screening of The Hand of God, and the presentation of the MVFF Award.


Saturday, October 16, 2:00pm, Smith Rafael Film Center

Program: $20 Member | $25 General

THE HAND OF GOD (È stata la mano di Dio)

ITALY 2021, 130 min Director Paolo Sorrentino

Sorrentino returns with his most personal movie to date, about an awkward young man (Filippo Scotti) growing up in ’80s Naples, for whom life isn’t easy: There’s trouble brewing between his parents, his favorite aunt may be suffering from mental illness, he has the teenage hormonal-free-fall blues, and his post-school future is a giant question mark. When news spreads that Argentine soccer godhead Diego Maradona will soon be playing for Napoli, our hero and his equally football-obsessed dad (Sorrentino regular Toni Servillo) consider it an equivalent of the second coming. Then tragedy, and a legendary film director arriving in their quaint coastal city for a shoot, changes everything. Filmed in Sorrentino’s hometown, this cinematic roman à clef brims with humor, tenderness, beauty, and the modern-day auteur’s own signature brand of Fellinesque surrealism. It’s an absolute masterpiece. –David Fear

In Italian with English subtitles.

Presented in association with