Naples is special. It is neither the city with the most monuments in Italy, nor the most luxurious … Nor does it pretend. Its appeal is another, its identity. They are not the north, much less want. A point of madness, passion and some chaos are mixed in a city where many inhabitants live every day and not because of Among the Partenopei, the norm sometimes remains a suggestion and the scarcity makes ingenuity sharpen (indicators of unemployment more higher than the north, also less GDP per capita). In a place where God seems to answer few prayers, the city preferred to elevate Diego Armando Maradona to an altar, who almost every weekend assured them a moment of happiness for years.

Under the Maradonian title 'È stata la mani di Dio' (It has been the hand of God), the director Paolo Sorrentino (Naples, 1970) returns to shoot in his city with Netflix. An intimate film according to the director himself and with Maradona in the background but not as the main character as explained by Gazzetta dello Sport, which offers more details on actors or locations. And is that if the movie is almost autobiographical, It is difficult to eliminate Maradona from Sorrentino's life beyond his passion for Naples or football, and precisely because of this, which saved his life.

Coat of Arms / Flag Naples

In April 1987, a very young Paolo did not dream of the Oscar yet … but of the Scudetto of his beloved Napoli. Maradona's team topped the standings and had just beaten Juve 2-1 at San Paolo at the end of March. There were five days left and the most difficult was done. The next game was in Empoli, five hours from his city, but he longed as few things to be able to travel to see them away from home. His parents had other plans, but after two years of insistent requests, they relented. At the age of 17, that Sunday Paolo headed to Carlo Castellani to see his team away from home for the first time but that never happened. His seat in the stadium stands was left empty. That Saturday, her parents went to their vacation home in Roccaraso, like every week, but never returned.

On Sunday morning, before leaving, the telephone rang and he received the news. It was the doorman of his farm who informed him that his parents had died because of a leak in a stove. In Empoli one less than expected entered and did not go from a draw to zero. In Vomero, everything had changed and it was not because southern soccer ended up winning the north a few weeks later.

That day, Paolo lost his parents but, as he explained years ago in Il Corriere de la Sera, he was born again thanks to Maradona. “Maradona saved my life. I had been asking my father to go see Napoli outside the home for two years instead of going up the mountain to the family house in Roccaraso. He always told me that I was too small but that day he gave me permission to go to Empoli-Napoli. The doorman called and I thought he would let me know that my friend had come to pick me up (to go to the game). Instead, he told me that an accident had occurred. 'Dad and Mom died in their sleep. By a stove. Intoxicated by carbon monoxide '“, he remembered.

The Scudetto could not have tasted more bitter. Paolo lived with his brothers in their family home to which his sister returned and in a state of confusion, partly out of respect for his father and due to the lack of conviction of his family when he spoke of his taste for letters, he followed the path that He recommended him and he began a career in economics … “but I started writing scripts” and he was stung by cinema forever. “I had five exams missing when I chose the cinema,” he explained.

According to experts, The 50-year-old Italian has triumphed with a style similar to Fellini, which he considers one of his great inspirations alongside Martin Scorsese, with up to eight films and two successful series such as' The Young Pope '(2016) and' The New Pope ', both triumphant on digital platforms. But it was not any filmmaker or actor, it was El Diego, says Sorrentino himself, who brought “the show” into his life. So much so that he included him in the dedications of the Oscar that he won in 2014 for The great beauty. “Thanks to my sources of inspiration Federico Fellini, Talking Heads, Scorsese and Diego Armando Maradona. Thanks to Roma and Napoli, Daniela and Carlo. To my brother Marco, to my sister Daniela … and this is for my parents, “he said from the lectern at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles.

Settled in Rome, for fear that his children would grow up in a Naples “beloved but traversed by exasperating violence”, Sorrentino returns with his camera to the streets of the city where he grew up and where he loved a Maradona who no longer it is there but lives on every corner. A scoreless tie that was worth more than a title. A 'second' Hand of God that unintentionally seized life.

A thousand joys and a notice of legal action

Even one of the most recognized Maradonians had to run into part of that other side of Maradona. Matías Morla, the star's lawyer, advised on July 11 that Diego had not authorized the use of his image for the film and that they were “diagramming the legal strategy to make a formal presentation to justice for the improper use of a trademark registered “. The lawyer, who notified him through social networks, has not given more clues as to whether or not it continues, but there could be a Hand of God without Maradona.

Sorrentino, who has already used a double to imitate him in previous films and who also liked Diego, it will be difficult for him to exclude 10 from his new work. A person who even marked him to go against his team in that Italy-Argentina of the 1990 World Cup. “Like all San Paolo, he went with Argentina. You cannot not encourage the man who saved your life,” he sentenced years ago. His story is expected to be available on Netflix by next year.


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