Archive of films Habemus papam / Habemus papam

Italy / France
2010, 104 min

Section: Horizons
Year: 2011

Nanni Moretti, one of Italy’s foremost creators, has turned in an original look behind the scenes at the Vatican. "I preferred not to allow myself to be conditioned by current affairs. It is a made-up story: my film is about my Vatican, my conclave, my cardinals,” the director said about a work in which he doesn’t shy away from ironizing church bureaucracy or modern psychoanalytic methods. He himself takes on the role of the psychotherapist brought into the Vatican when the newly elected pope, played by the excellent Michel Piccoli, resists taking up his office.


After a pope dies the conclave meets in order that the cardinals may choose his successor. Several rounds of voting must take place before white smoke over the Sistine Chapel finally announces that the new pope has been elected, and before the traditional announcement from the balcony in front of St. Peter’s Basilica: "Habemus papam.” But this time around the faithful assembled in the square below, a crowd hundreds of thousands strong, wait in vain for the balcony doors to open and the new head of the Catholic Church to appear. The cardinal who has been chosen is suddenly hit with a panic attack over the responsibilities he must take on. Anxiety? Depression? Fear that he is not up to the task? The Vatican is in shock and everyone is searching for a remedy. They decide to call in an eminent psychotherapist to help solve the situation. Nanni Moretti’s film, in which he invests his very special brand of humor in the role of the psychotherapist, and the excellent Michel Piccoli plays the doubt-plagued pope, was one of the most warmly received works of the recent Cannes competition.

About the director

Nanni Moretti (b. 1953, Brunico, Italy), leading Italian actor, director, and producer, founder of the production and distribution company Nuova Sacher, began his directing career in the 1970s with films that reflected a period of resistance against the established order: I Am Self Sufficient (1976) and Ecce Bombo (1977). He became one of the great hopefuls of Italian cinema in the 1980s, shooting the films Golden Dreams (1981), Bianca (1983), and The Mass Is Ended (1985). His leftist although strongly individualistic bent manifests itself in the movies Red Lob (1989), Dear Diary (1993), and April (1997). In 2001 he took the Palme d’Or at Cannes for the intimate drama The Son’s Room. He returned to politics in the film The Caiman (2006), which screened at Cannes and was presented in the Horizons section at KVIFF, both in 2006.


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About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Horizons
Director: Nanni Moretti
Screenplay: Nanni Moretti, Francesco Piccolo, Federica Pontremoli
Dir. of Photography: Alessandro Pesci
Music: Franco Piersanti
Editor: Esmeralda Calabria
Producer: Nanni Moretti, Domenico Procacci
Production: Fandango
Cast: Michel Piccoli, Nanni Moretti, Jerzy Stuhr
Contact: Fandango Portobello Sales


Jerzy Stuhr



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