Something to tell | Madrid

Two children, wearing Maradona and Messi shirts, play in the Neapolitan neighborhood of Forcella.
Two children, wearing Maradona and Messi shirts, play in the Neapolitan neighborhood of Forcella.Paolo Manzo / The Country

The day that the best player in the world, Diego Armando Maradona, made Naples, a modest team, win their first scudettoSomeone decided to go to the cemetery to write the best chronicle of the match in a graffiti on the wall: “You don’t know what you’ve missed.” Thirty-four years later, a Neapolitan filmmaker has dedicated the title of his latest work to the footballer, It was the hand of God, an autobiographical film that is not about Maradona, although it appears; not even love and loss, which too, but the end of innocence and something very appropriate for these days: the need to escape from reality, to be distracted.

For a time, the escapism maneuver for a depressed city in need of pride, as well as for Fabietto, the film’s protagonist, is football, and when that is no longer enough, when the volcano of adolescence dies down, life It gets complicated and Fabio appears, quite simply, the escape method is the dream of making movies, having something to tell.

The boy, who was actually called Paolo Sorrentino, did indeed become a filmmaker, directed 32 titles and won an Oscar, but it took him more than three decades to bring the death of his parents to the screen in a terrible domestic accident, that is , the story that awakened the vocation or the need to create a parallel reality to be able to tolerate the original.

Like good speeches It was the hand of God he makes people laugh and cry with some histrionic and crazy characters who eat burrata in bites stuffed into a fur coat in the middle of summer; that sometimes they are cruel, other times tender and sympathetic and that they construct dialogues so round that it is not necessary to underline them with music or filigree. It also has the charm of nostalgia, with scenes and environments that can be transferred to many corners and families: the same kitchen tiles, the same walkman, the landline phone, the VHS tape of the video store and those beehive buildings full of children where the neighbors knew each other by first and last names and a huge goal, the size of a century, was seen on a tiny television without a remote control.

It was the hand of God He talks about the past, but like a neighbor does with the protagonist, Sorrentino gives us a hand to rethink the future. On a day like today, the penultimate of 2021, with the coronavirus occupying every conversation and thought, when we are all scared and scared, with the infections triggered and the antigen tests exhausted in pharmacies, the film offers the illusion of distracting us. It is a refuge, the sign that we can still get excited and fantasize about the moment when we have something new to tell us, something that has nothing to do with the damn pandemic. My purpose for the new year is to find many excuses to dedicate this column, like this Thursday, to something other than the monothem. It will be a matter of perseverance. Happy 2022.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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