Film and TV

Starz Denver Film Festival November 19 Must-See: Viva La Liberta

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.

See also: The Ten Best Movie Events in Denver in November

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."

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.

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts