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From Benedict to Berlusconi: Moretti’s prophecies

© A still from Nanni Moretti's "Il Caimano"

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-06-25

Can Italian filmmaker Nanni Moretti see the future? Given recent events in Italy, two of his films, “We Have a Pope” and “Il Caimano”, suggest that indeed he can.

Since 1994, when he made his entrance into the world of Italian politics, Silvio Berlusconi has been involved in more than thirty court cases.

That fact explains why his latest legal fiasco – he was recently convicted, on June 24, of paying for sex with an underage prostitute – barely raised an eyebrow in Italy.

Film buffs, however, may have experienced slight déjà-vu when they heard the news: in his 2006 film “Il Caimano”, Italian filmmaker (and 2012 Cannes jury head) Nanni Moretti indeed portrayed a fictionalised version of Italy’s former prime minister being sentenced to seven years in prison.

The sentence Berlusconi was just handed? Seven years, of course.

“Il Caimano” was released shortly before Italian legislative elections in 2006. It was warmly received in competition at that year’s edition of the Cannes Film Festival, and went on to become a box office success at home.

The real-life Berlusconi came in second to centre-left leader Romano Prodi in the election, though he refused to officially concede defeat.

A pope steps down – onscreen and off

It is not the first time that Moretti seemed to see the future. In his next feature-length film, “We Have a Pope” (2011), the director told the story of a newly named pope (played by French actor Michel Piccoli) who steps down. In the climactic scene, the pope announces his decision from his perch on the balcony of Saint Peter’s Basilica, in front of thousands of stunned followers and cardinals.

The scenario was unimaginable when the film, selected for competition in the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, first came out. But not even two years later, in February 2013, Pope Benoit XVI announced that he was giving up the papacy – the first time a pope had done so since the 15th century.

The Italian press, which jokingly declared Moretti a prophet, is eagerly awaiting the director’s next film.


Date created : 2013-06-25


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