Italian director says film foresaw papal resignation

Updated 12 February 2013

Italian director says film foresaw papal resignation

VATICAN CITY: The Italian director of a film which tells the story of a pope who resigned spoke in an interview on Tuesday of his uncanny foresight after Pope Benedict XVI announced he will step down.
“Sometimes cinema can anticipate reality,” award-winning filmmaker Nanni Moretti, whose latest movie “Habemus Papam” starring Michel Piccoli as the pope went on general release in 2011, told Italian newspaper La Repubblica.
Moretti said the resignation in St. Peter’s Square that ends his film was a powerful image “as if a simple gesture, after all just a few steps back for a man, could bring down St. Peter’s basilica or even the Church itself.”
“Even though it did not seem topical or believable, I told myself it was the story I wanted to tell. Not reality as it is but as it could be. And now here we are,” said Moretti, who has also made a comedy about Silvio Berlusconi.
“Habemus Papam” talks about a papal nominee, Cardinal Melville, who suffers a panic attack when he is due to appear before a crowd in St. Peter’s Square immediately after his election by a secret conclave of cardinals.
The cardinals recruit a psychoanalyst played by Moretti to ease his depression but he fails and the pope-to-be announces he will not take the post.
“I wanted to tell the Story with a capital ‘S’ of a man who refuses to give precedence to his role, however sacred and powerful, over his human nature,” he said, adding that he doubted that the pope had actually seen the film.
Moretti said his film had wanted to make a portrayal of a “more human” Vatican, as well as a “thoughtful” criticism of the Catholic Church.
He said he had taken special care over how to portray cardinals in the film as he wanted to show them “full of confusion, humanity and fear.”
But he admitted that fiction could only go so far in portraying the Catholic Church — “I don’t really know what happens in a conclave.”

What’s Trending Today’s: hot topics explained

Zuhoor Assiri gestures as she drives her car in Dhahran on Sunday. (Reuters)
Updated 42 min 13 sec ago

What’s Trending Today’s: hot topics explained

In the driver’s seat

Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal. (Twitter photo)

“Al-Waleed bin Talal” was one of the top trending Google searches on Sunday, as he participated in the historic event of women driving in the Kingdom.  

He shot a video of himself sitting next to his daughter Reem who drove him around Riyadh with his granddaughters sitting in the backseat.

In the viral video, Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal said: “Saudi Arabia has entered the 21st century.” 

Prince Al-Waleed is a Saudi businessman, investor, philanthropist, and a member of the Saudi royal family. Prince Al-Waleed is also the chairman of Board of Directors of Kingdom Holding Company (KHC), a Saudi conglomerate company, publicly listed on the Tadawul (Saudi Stock Exchange). 



The Arabic hashtag for Saudi women driving cars, and the English #SaudiWomenDriving were the top trending hashtags in the region. On June 24, history was made in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as women with valid driving licenses grabbed their car keys and enjoyed a drive on Kingdom’s roads marking the beginning of an era of prosperity. 

@geekyerxm said: “Seeing all the Saudi woman driving with the biggest smiles ever, is making me tear up GO GIRLSSS”

@ArshiyaShariff7 said: “So finally the wait is over”

@Aljehani_Maha said: “Today we are making history congratulations to all the women in our beloved country, I’m so happy and proud of each one of us. Let’s drive and be the change that we want to see in the world. #SaudiWomenDrive”

@ZainabDaham said: “24th of June 2018,the end of an era and the start of a new one for our Saudi sisters. A very memorable day and a true historic moment. #SaudiWomenDrive”

@LamaG6 said: “Congratulations to all the women in Saudi Arabia! Today marks an extraordinary leap of faith. Today we ARE the news. #SaudiWomenDrive”