Corpo Celeste

Director: Alice Rohrwacher
Screenwriters: Alice Rohrwacher

Institute History

  • 2012 Sundance Film Festival


Premiering at the 2011 Cannes Directors’ Fortnight, Corpo Celeste showcased the talents of its remarkable young writer/director, Alice Rohrwacher, whom we eagerly welcome to the Sundance Film Festival.

After growing up in Switzerland, 13-year-old Marta returns to a city in southern Italy with her mother and older sister. Independent and inquisitive, she joins a catechism class at a local church. However, the games and religious pop songs she encounters there do not nearly satisfy her interest in faith. Struggling to find her place, Marta pushes the boundaries of the class, the priest, and the church.

Contemplating religion is an enduring tradition in Italian cinema, but Rohrwacher brings a fresh inflection and a provocative artistic vision. Her vérité aesthetic emphasizes character and subtle behavior. Uninterested in shallow critique, Corpo Celeste posits a girl who is resolutely searching for deeper truths. Marta instinctively rebels against the apathy and hypocrisy of the adults around her, including a priest who is more interested in his career than he is in faith. Ultimately, her spirituality is as much of the Earth as it is of the heavens.

— John Nein

Screening Details


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