Robert De Niro and his love letter to It Was the Hand of God: “Despite the tragedy, it overflows with fun”

Robert De Niro and his love letter to It Was the Hand of God:

One of the greatest Italian-American icons dedicates a love letter to one of the recent jewels of Italian cinema. moved by It was the hand of GodPaolo Sorrentino’s new film (the great beauty), Robert De Niro turned to his pen to explain the connection he established with the tape that Netflix released in November.

“There are so many wonderful things about It was the hand of God”, he says in an article for Deadline about the film, which he labels as “intensely personal”. Inspired by the director’s own youth in Naples, the film follows Fabietto (Filippo Scotti), a teenager who spends most of his time listening to music and seeing Diego Maradona at the city’s club. His growing up years are marked by a cruel twist of fate that changes his life forever.


“Despite the tragedy that is at the literal center of the film, It was the hand of God it overflows with fun,” says De Niro. “Scenes like the extended family’s picnic lunch and subsequent boat ride are so charming and fun. And while the central story is Fabietto being ripped from his precarious youth and dragged into a premature and unwanted adulthood, the stories along the way are invaluable.”

Fabietto’s most prominent co-star is not one of the wonderful cast, but the city itself. You share Sorrentino’s love of Naples in the beautiful opening shots of the aerial zoom over the Gulf of Naples toward the city. And you see it in his affection for the variety of characters: quirky, often hilarious, larger than life, passionate (I mean loud), full of joy and hope.”

The actor acknowledges that he has been to the southern Italian city “a few times”, but that the exploration of the film transported him to his hometown.

Photo: Gianni Fiorito.

“To me this film feels distinctively Neapolitan in the way that a lot of Marty Scorsese’s movies (The wolf of Wall Street, Lives to the limit, dangerous streets, Taxi driveretc.) and many of Woody Allen’s films (annie lounge, BroadwayDanny Rose, Manhattanetc.) essentially feel like New York City. In many ways, Naples reminds me of the Italian-American New York that I love.”, he concludes.

After its celebrated premiere at the Venice Film Festival in September, currently It was the hand of God is among the 15 preselected that aspire to achieve an Oscar nomination for Best International Film. The announcement is scheduled for February 8.


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