The Hand of God: how Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma inspired Paolo Sorrentino

“I cried over the story of this Mexican woman, very far from me, from my history, from my culture,” the Italian filmmaker confides to us.

Paolo Sorrentino, 51, has just signed his most personal film with God’s hand, released Wednesday on Netflix. In this feature film, the filmmaker has indeed drawn directly from his personal history, and in particular a tragic and foundational episode in his life as a man and as an artist: the accidental death of his parents when he had than 16 years old. That is exactly what happens to little Fabietto from God’s hand, young Neapolitan and aspiring filmmaker who has to face a family drama.

At the antipodes of Il Divo, La Grande Bellezza Where YouthSorrentino has therefore decided to face his own past in this feature film. A track that he would never have dared to explore without the indirect assistance of another director, Alfonso Cuaron, whose last film, Roma, also released on Netflix, is based on the childhood memories of the Mexican director. A story that upset Sorrentino and convinced him to try his hand at autobiographical narrative, as he tells us in issue 524 of Première, available on newsstands and on our online store.

Buy Première issue 524

Making a film means devoting two years of your life to a project. As you get older, you realize that the number of films you have left to make is counted, that you will not be able to shoot another fifty“, explains the director.”So you start to think very seriously about the stories you want to tell, the topics that are more essential to you than others. And, usually, this is where you realize that the way you looked at the world when you were young may have been the most important thing in your life. Family, childhood, the universe in which you grew up. That’s probably why, at some point, directors feel the time has come to talk about it. “

It’s because of Roma that I found the courage to do God’s hand !“Sorrentino continues.”I understood that it was possible to make a very personal film about his youth while being absolutely universal. I cried over the story of this Mexican woman, very far from me, from my history, from my culture. And it enlightened me. Just like I had been illuminated by The Queen by Stephen Frears, who allowed me to understand that a film like Il Divo was possible. ”

And for fans of the Italian filmmaker who might be struck by the film’s lack of cynicism, Sorrentino explains it thus: “I was facing who I was when I was 17, and I wasn’t cynical at that age. On the contrary: I was full of hope for the future. ”

Interview by Gaël Golhen

The Hand of God: the most beautiful film by Paolo Sorrentino [critique]

Leave a Reply