The Hand of God (Italy) (11/24)

It’s hard to capture what it’s like to grow up; the hodgepodge of tiny moments that create a person and lead them to where they ought to be. And often, in looking back, we tend to tidy up the journey, edit out the ephemera and missteps into something clean and concise (because that is how we are taught to tell a story). In his semi-autobiographical film, Oscar winner Paolo Sorrentino retraces his steps as an aimless teen in Naples through a series of interlocking vignettes. His family, his sexual awakening, the loss of his parents, his discovery of filmmaking. He plots points on a map, both the profound and insignificant, in a way that mimics the meandering of life while coalescing into something painstakingly purposeful. The Italian submission for Best International Feature at the Oscars and an eventual Oscar nominee, the film depicts the wandering of youth in all its pain, pleasure, absurdity, and importance. It also depicts a woman in a fur coat gobbling down a giant hunk of mozzarella, so there’s a little something for everyone.

Written by Abu Bakar

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