Screened as part of NZIFF 2012

Corpo Celeste 2011

Directed by Alice Rohrwacher

A mordantly funny Italian woman’s coming-of-age movie also serves as a barbed account of the church’s devotion to worldly dominion. “Feels densely observed, transparently personal and autobiographical… An accomplished debut.” — The Guardian

France / Italy / Switzerland In Italian with English subtitles
102 minutes 35mm

Director, Screenplay


Carlo Cresto-Dina
Jacques Bidou
Marianne Dumoulin
Tiziana Soudani


Hélène Louvart


Marco Spoletini


Yile Vianello (Marta)
Salvatore Cantalupo (Don Mario)
Pasqualina Scuncia (Santa)
Anita Caprioli (Rita)
Renato Carpentieri (Don Lorenzo)


Cannes (Directors’ Fortnight), Toronto, New York, Vancouver, London 2011
Sundance 2012


Here’s a mordantly funny coming-of-age movie that also serves as barbed allegation that the Catholic Church’s primary devotion is to worldly dominion. Back in her native Calabria after years in Switzerland, 13-year-old Marta casts a wary eye over all she surveys. Learning the catechism, she is not impressed by the perplexing jumble of Latin ritual and woeful stabs at youth credibility: “seeing the Spirit is like wearing really cool sunglasses”. Catching on to the insecurity of her teacher or the jaded parish priest Don Mario’s connivance in right-wing politics, she’s an irritant they could do without. Her stand-off comes to a head when she is obliged to accompany the priest on an expedition to retrieve a giant wooden Christ Crucified from a deconsecrated church. Distinct and strange, as listless and as nettled by the absurdity of adult behaviour as its teenage protagonist, this is an impressive, absorbing first film from 30-year-old Alice Rohrwacher. — BG