Again this year, Starz Denver Film Festival artistic director Brit Withey is offering his must-see picks for each day of the fest -- including many flicks that movie lovers might otherwise miss amid the flood of silver-screen goodies.
Today, he spotlights Viva La Liberta.
Viva La Liberta Directed by Robert Ando Wednesday, November 19, 4:30 p.m. Thursday, November 20, 1:15 p.m SDFF Sie FilmCenter
The winner of the Maria & Tommaso Maglione Italian Filmmaker Award, an annual highlight of the Starz Denver Film Festival, Viva La Liberta "is a comedy -- and a really fun look at Italian politics, which I get the sense isn't too difficult to make a comedy about.
"The film stars Tony Servillo as two brothers. One of them is an Italian politician and the other is a depressive, potentially mentally ill ex-professor who lives alone. Then, the politician has his own sort of mental breakdown, and he disappears right before a major Italian election. No one can find him and nobody knows what to do -- so they seek out his brother and convince him to stand in briefly for the politician-brother until they can track him down.
"They try to keep a handle on the brother, but that proves impossible. He starts showing up at huge rallies and speaks his mind -- and he proves to be an idiot savant and saves the party. Everybody loves him, and nobody wants the real politician to come back.
"It's a really fun, lovely story," Withey allows, as well as one that may prove irresistible to American movie producers: "It wouldn't be surprising at all if [a remake] shows up on American screens a couple of years from now."
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Westword's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Denver's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Below, see a trailer for Viva La Liberta. To access all the film festival's selections and purchase tickets, click here -- and be sure be to visit our Show and Tell blog each day during the fest for more of Brit's picks.
Marijuana Deals Near You
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.