Movie Details

A father's love for his troubled daughter may be the only thing that can save her in this drama from writer and director Pupi Avati. It's 1938, Benito Mussolini is the fascist ruler of Italy, and Michele (Silvio Orlando) is a high school teacher living in Bologna. Michele and his wife Delia (Francesca Neri) have a teenage daughter Giovanna (Alba Rohrwacher), and Giovanna is the most important thing in Michele's life -- so much so that Delia often finds herself wishing her husband was as devoted to her as he is to their child. As much as Michele indulges her, Giovanna is an unstable and disturbed young woman, and one day in a fit of anger Giovanna murders one of her friends. Sergio (Ezio Greggio), Michele and Delia's next door neighbor, is a police officer who uses his authority to help his friends, and he's fond enough of Delia to see that her family is well cared for, but Giovanna's crime is too severe for him to be able to help, and while the courts spare the girl's life, she's sent to a mental hospital where she receives only the most minimal care. Michele stands by Giovanna and tends to her in the hospital, leaving Delia at home to look after their home with the help of Sergio. Il Papa di Giovanna (aka Giovanna's Father) was an official selection at the 2008 Venice Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi