ITALY 2021, 130 min Director Paolo Sorrentino
Oscar®-winning (The Great Beauty) Italian filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino (Youth, MVFF 2015) 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
Our Spotlight program features an onstage conversation with writer-director Paolo Sorrentino and actor Filippo Scotti, 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.