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Photo: ‘The Hand of God’
The 1980s in Naples, Italy, was full of extraordinary events such as a life-altering earthquake, a worrying economy, a drug epidemic, and the wildly popular arrival of Diego Maradona. He would successfully play for Italy’s Napoli and win five trophies. ‘The Hand of God’ is an Italian drama film directed, produced, and written by Academy-award-winning Paolo Sorrentino. ‘The Hand of God’ is said to reflect Sorrentino’s own personal life growing up in 1980s Italy and his struggle with tragic grief and loss.
‘The Hand of God’
Based on the trailer for ‘The Hand of God,’ it is clear that the film was written with care, and it is very obvious that Paolo Sorrentino wasted no time pouring his feelings into the film. There is something incredibly unique about ‘The Hand of God’, and I think it may have something to do with the fact that it is a story told from a personal account that is filled with the history of a troubled city and learning to live with a major loss in life. ‘The Hand of God’ is set to release December 15, 2021, in select theaters and on Netflix; you most definitely won’t want to miss it.
If you’re a sports fan, you may already know that the title is a reference to Diego Maradona himself. Still, if you aren’t aware, it’s actually a fantastic story and reference. In 1986, Diego Maradona was playing football at the FIFA Worldcup for Argentina when he made a game-saving move that would ultimately put the team ahead in the game. He later called this impressive move completed by himself “The hand of God.” Obviously, the term was created while Maradona was playing for a different team other than Napoli. Still, it makes sense that Paolo Sorrentino would use the reference as a title for the film because Paolo has mentioned that Diego had a significant impact on his personal life growing up and on Naples as a whole in the 1980s.
‘The Hand of God’ is set in 1980s Naples, Italy, and follows the story of a young boy, Fabietto Schisa (Filippo Scotti), and his family. Based on the trailer, it seems the beginning of the film is filled with pure joy and a love that can only be described, sometimes, by the word “family.” It is clear that Fabietto Schisa is in love with his family and vice versa, making the bizarre 1980s events in Naples, Italy something minuscule when compared to the love he shared with his family.
As mentioned before, the beginning of the trailer is pure bliss and provides a sense of comfort and longingness to call back home to your family. Halfway through the trailer, it is clear that the mood within the film shifts as we witness what seems to be the loss of two people within the family, Fabietto’s full-of-life mother, Maria Schisa (Teresa Saponangelo), and his hilarious father, Saverio Schisa (Toni Servillo). It is not clear from the trailer how the tragedy happens taking two of Fabietto’s loving family members, but it is clear that the loss takes a toll on Fabietto.
Fabietto seems to take the loss the hardest out of his family members and even mentions that reality isn’t all that great after all. Still, his family members, such as his brother Marchino Schisa (Marlon Joubert), desire to continue on with life and encourage Fabietto to do so as well. We see shots of a now-empty bed and bedroom and the emptiness that Fabietto now carries as some of the most important people in his life have now passed. Considering ‘The Hand of God’ is a self-reflection and a tale of Paolo’s life story, this part of the film means even more as we know that it reflects the feelings that Paolo also had as his parents passed while he was young. This also provides a real sense of grief and loss for the film that may not be possible if the director or writer had not personally experienced it themselves at some point in their lives. One thing is for sure; viewers will definitely have the chance to take in the feelings and mood of the film, which might require a tissue or two.
‘The Hand of God’ follows the journey of loss, which ultimately begins to turn into a new sense of strength and desire to live life to the fullest for Fabietto by the ending of the film. The loss of both parents at a young age is clearly extremely traumatic, but it is also endearing that Paolo made the choice to show that life does continue on and things won’t always be the same forever. Overall, ‘The Hand of God’ is a highly emotional film, and I can not wait to watch the film in its entirety and understand the trials and tribulations of 1980s Naples and Paolo Sorrentino’s life. As someone who has personally lived with a tragic loss, this film is highly inspiring and will most definitely be something that I will watch in times of distress and even in times when you want to enjoy a great story.
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Filippo Scotti will next be seen ‘Io e spotty’ with Michela De Rossi, directed by Cosimo Gomez. Teresa Saponangelo will next be seen in ‘The Hand of God’ with Toni Servillo, directed by Paolo Sorrentino. Toni Servillo will next be seen in ‘The First Day of My Life’ with Sara Serraiocco, directed by Paolo Genovese. Marlon Joubert will next be seen in ‘Questa notte parlami dell’Africa’ with Corrado Fortuna, directed by Carolina Boco. Paolo Sorrentino’s next project will be ‘Mob Girl.’
Cast: Filippo Scotti, Teresa Saponangelo, Toni Servillo, Marlon Joubert
Director/Writer: Paolo Sorrentino
By Chelsea Black
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