Fittingly premiering at Venice, Italy’s most famous film festival, last fall, Abel Ferrara’s latest film Padre Pio will now arrive in the U.S. in a few weeks. With Shia LaBeouf playing the title figure, the story follows him as the young priest who begins his ministry at a remote monastery in Italy right after WWI has ended. As events surrounding the first free election in Italy threaten to tear the village apart, Padre Pio struggles with his own personal demons, ultimately emerging from his spiritual anguish to become one of Catholicism’s most venerated figures. “Padre Pio is a film about the spiritual journey of the great saint in parallel with that of Shia Labeouf who portrays him,” said Ferrara. Ahead of a June 2 release by Gravitas Ventures, the first trailer has arrived.
David Katz said in his review, “The film is grounded in the reality of Italian life shortly after World War I, as socialist ideas gained currency amid calls for a transformation of society and the populace imagined a better way of life following their army’s traumatic return from the battlefield. The town of San Giovanni Rotondo, located in the country’s southeast, is conceived by Ferrara and first-billed co-screenwriter Maurizio Braucci (who appositely worked on Martin Eden) as a microcosm of this societal shift, where the ruling class harass their charges and dispute the results of a key national election in an apt parallel to Trumpian America.”
Watch the trailer below and read our interview with Ferrara here.
Padre Pio opens on June 2 in theaters and on VOD.