Aug. 26, 2022 – “Once we kicked the drugs and the alcohol, we started to see a different way of life, of living in a different life,” the “Bad Lieutenant” director said in an interview in his new hometown of Rome. “I think it’s more just trying to get our game right.”

The film chronicles a particular moment in the 20th century history of Italy and Padre Pio, the mystic Capuchin monk best known for having displayed the “stigmata” wounds of Christ: He bled from his hands, feet and sides. Padre Pio died in 1968 and was canonized in 2002 by St. John Paul II, going on to become one of the most popular saints in Italy, the U.S. and beyond.

Ferrara’s treatment is no biopic, and frankly ignores some of the juiciest bits of the Padre Pio saga, which involved a dozen Vatican investigations into purported dalliances with women, alleged financial improprieties and doubts about the stigmatas. In their place, Ferrara weaves a parallel tale about the beginnings of fascism in Italy that is, unexpectedly, utterly relevant today.


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