Hand of God, The: Sorrentino’s Personal Film, Homage to Fellini’s Amarcord (Venice Fest 2021)

Paolo Sorrentino’s ‘The Hand of God’: Venice 2021

The Oscar-winning Italian director pens a love letter to his native Naples, looking back poignantly at the formative experiences of his youth in the 1980s.

If The Great Beauty was Paolo Sorrentino’s lavish homage to La Dolce Vita — with nods also to 8½ and Roma — The Hand of God is inspired by another Fellini masterpiece, the 1973 Oscar winner Amarcord.

But although the Fellini inspiration is acknowledged in the story in audition scene, this is a personal film.

Returning to his Neapolitan roots to reflect on the experiences of the teenage years that shaped him has brought out sumptuous veins of joy and sorrow that feel richer, deeper, more poignant than the director’s previous efforts.