organization Art Promotion

My mother’s smile


Italia – 2002– 35mm – color – 103’


Direction: Marco Bellocchio

Screenplay: Marco Bellocchio

Photography: Pasquale Mari

Editing: Francesca Calvelli

Set design: Marco Dentici

Music: Riccardo Giagni

Costumes: Sergio Ballo

Cast: Sergio Castellitto, Jacqueline Lustig. Chiara Conti, Alberto Mondini, Gianni Schicchi, Maurizio Donadoni, Gigio Alberti, Bruno Cariello, Renzo Rossi, Piera Degli Esposti, Donato Placido, Gianfelice Imparato, Pietro De Silva, Toni Bertorelli

Producers:Marco Bellocchio, Sergio Pelone

Production: Filmalbatros, Rai Cinemafiction, Telepiu’



A grown man living in the center of Rome, one day finds out that his all family has organized the beatification practices of his mother. Doubtful, Ernesto hangs around the meanders of relatives and people known that he discovers to be close to the Pope and conformist , he is forced to watch back to a past that he thought had gone, with his convinced and quiet atheism. He rediscovers on his face, that hovering smile that everyone reproaches and that he recognizes as an unwanted heritage of that mother he never shared…



“(…) maybe the Church is not there. Maybe the Catholic Church is only the expression, the symbol of the Great Reflux, of the Italian return of the cynical conventionality, of good feelings hypocritically used for the worst, of the rebirth of cults, characters and unbearable devotions. Maybe it is the sign of an oppressive sociopolitical regression, resurrection of authority and blessing of punishing parents that seemed to be eliminated by the sons rebellion.

(…) Sergio Castellitto is a great protagonist. The director’s style enables him to go through dilemmas and events very concretely with a confusion referred to the present, as in a dark dream marked by loaded and old settings, like the liberty-style dark of the roman upper class houses (perfect set design by Marco Dentici, lovely cinematography by Pasquale Mari); his impatient confusion, extreme and yet compliant, defines the character as every contemporary man, enemy of the world he lives; his skill makes him look as a brother, as a friend.” (Lietta Tornabuoni, La Stampa)



2002 Festival di Cannes:  Ecumenical Jury Prize

2002 Silver ribbons: Director of the Best Film, Best Subject, Actor, Sound

2002 European Film Awards:  Best Actor

2002 Golden globesBest Actor

2003 David di Donatello:  Best Supporting Actress (Piera Degli Esposti)