‘The Hand of God’ by Paolo Sorrentino Is a Love Letter to Naples

Could "The Hand of God" be Paolo Sorrentino's best film?

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“È Stata La Mano Di Dio,” known as “The Hand of God” in English, is the latest film from director Paolo Sorrentino. And it looks like it will do to the city of Naples what Sorrentino’s “La Grande Belleza” did for Rome—that is, it will immortalize its subject city in a new way.

Here is the trailer:

“In 1980s Naples, young Fabietto pursues his love for football as family tragedy strikes, shaping his uncertain but promising future as a filmmaker.” —Netflix

The trailer gives you an inkling of the beauty and tragedy that unfolds in the movie. The synopsis, below, is equally coy. But it hints at how this story may have evolved from Sorrentino’s personal experiences as a teenager in Naples:

From Academy Award-winning writer and director Paolo Sorrentino (Il Divo, The Great Beauty, The Young Pope), comes the story of a boy, Fabietto Schisa, in the tumultuous Naples of the 1980s. The Hand of God is a story full of unexpected joys, such as the arrival of football legend Diego Maradona, and an equally unexpected tragedy. Fate plays its part, joy and tragedy intertwine, and Fabietto’s future is set in motion. Sorrentino returns to his hometown to tell his most personal story, a tale of fate and family, sports and cinema, love and loss.

Released in theaters on November 24, 2021, ‘The Hand of God’ won the Grand Jury Prize at the 78th Venice International Film Festival and will be Italy’s official 2021 Oscar® Selection for the Best International Feature Film (to be decided in 2022).

Netflix will begin streaming the film worldwide on December 15, 2021.

Melanie Renzulli

Melanie Renzulli

Melanie Renzulli has been writing about travel to Italy for more than 20 years.

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