Habemus PapamOriginal Title: Habemus Papam
Director: Nanni Moretti
Italy, France | Italian
This film is screened as part of Habemus Papam showing with The Wholly Family
. To buy tickets, click here
, Latin for “We have a Pope!” is the phrase that announces the election of the new pontiff –but what happens if the chosen man does not want the job? In Nanni Moretti’s wry comic drama, the newly elected Pope, Cardinal Melville (Michel Piccoli), suffers a panic attack just as he is due to appear on St. Peter’s balcony to greet the faithful who have been patiently awaiting the conclave’s decision. When the Cardinal’s advisors are unable to convince Melville that he is the right man to head up the Church, they seek help from a renowned psychoanalyst –and atheist –played by Moretti himself. But the fear of the responsibility that has suddenly been thrust upon him is one problem Melville must face on his own.
While Moretti and his co-screenwriters provide their own take on a very specific world, the themes of the film and its protagonist’s anguish carry a universal resonance that speaks to audiences far removed from the characters they depict. Moretti notes, “I wanted to blend comedy and drama in one film, the grotesque tone and the realistic one. The cardinal’s conclave is from our imagination, but we respected the actual rituals and liturgies of a real conclave.” The new Pope dodges his attendants and escapes from the Vatican. Strolling through Rome, where simple things like people riding buses and chatting in coffee shops catch his attention, reminding him of a life of daily routines he has left behind. Thanks to the nuanced, moving performance of Piccoli, the cardinal’s surreal situation acquires a universal meaning, and presents the audience with questions about the deepest meaning of life.
This film belongs to package Habemus Papam showing with The Wholly Family