Love Conquers All: The Goddess of Fortune (La Dea Fortuna)

By Lucrezia Barboni

“The Goddess of Fortune has a secret, knows a magic trick. How can you keep someone you really love always with you? You have to stare at them, steal their image, shut your eyes and keep them close. And the one you love will make their way into your heart and from that moment on, that person will always be with you”.

This quote represents what is the beating heart of the “Goddess of Fortune”, the latest cinematographic masterpiece of Ferzan Ozpeteck.

This movie reflects human souls’s agonies, in which, love acts as the “fille rouge” throughout the entire vision.

The plot focuses around a couple, Arturo and Alessandro (played by Stefano Accorsi and Edoardo Leo) and a woman, Annamaria (played by Jasmine Trinca), Alessandro’s best friend.

Arturo and Alessandro have been together for 15 years and, even though they still feel love and affection for each other, their relationship starts to deteriorate because of lack of communication and other misunderstanding…

Everything is about to change when Annamaria breaks into their life with her children, Martina and Alessandro (Sara Ciocca, Edoardo Brandi): the woman must leave her children to the couple for some time due to some health problems.

This sudden change in their routines will lead Alessandro and Arturo to change their prospective about their life, but in particular about their shaky relationship, feelings for one another and the way they treat each other.

This new situation places the two in new, unknown grounds such as parental responsibilities which is no small task, especially given these two are two self-centered adults who don’t seem to understand the meaning of the word commitment…

The contents of this movie face current relationship dynamics and answers to questions such as: how many times life puts us in front of obstacles that we need to win over? How many times do we face unknown situations that seem impossible to over come? How do we embrace change?

“Change” is in fact, one of the main columns of the plot and this can be clearly seen in the relationship between Alessandro and Arturo.

Their relationship seems doomed, but will a drastic change in their life such as the arrival of two children turn things around?

Therefore this is the part of the movie where many of us may reflect them self with the struggle of these two characters: although change may be scary, it necessary to embrace what fate and fortune, have set aside for you.

Change is indeed a door that can only be opened from the inside. Only when someone is ready to question themselves, accept their wrongdoing and willing to try again, that they become ready to make a change.

“The Goddess of Fortune” is a tribute to human emotions, in which the viewer is invited to accept them self in their own uniqueness regardless of who they love, as love is another main protagonist of this movie.

And while next to love there is same sex parenting, anyone can sympathize with this family where in the end the main “ingredient” that keeps it together is love, regardless of all circumstances.

As Virgilio said, “Omnia vincit amor”, love triumphs over everything, whatever the hardships.

Every scene has its own “shape” that will surprise the viewer and tickle their curiosity in order to empathize with the characters.

The movie captures the viewer’s attention from beginning to end, as it swing from portraying emotional and deep situations to hilarious once to then take an unaccepted turn at the very last, suspenseful moments.

But what took director Ferzan Ozpeteck to create such a captivating setting?

-What did you feel while shooting a movie that is so close to your biography? What is this movie genesis?

My movies are always the result of something that either happened in my life or had a strong impact on me. Events that I may twist around with my imagination and that I always share with my trusted co-writer Gianni Romoli.

The movie is inspired by a particular event, the death of my brother Asaf father of two tweens.

His wife made me promise that if something happened to her too that I, along with my “travel companion” Simone, would be the ones to take care of her children. And that got me to think about a scenario: two kids living in a place such as our home, where there’s a constant in and out of people and how a couple (not necessarily a gay one) could feel by welcoming two kids after living a certain life for fifteen years.

Well I believe this would make us discover another side of love: seeing each other dealing with a new, unusual element in our lives perhaps making us falling in love in a new way. What was once erotic tension may then turn into something deeper like affection, tenderness and discovery of new gestures.

Cinema does not like to tell about LGBTQI couple crisis, separations and breaks up, even though may be the exact same ones that heterosexual couples experience.

What is a person willing to give up in the name of love?

To me… everything. This is the one feeling that dominated my existence and I am not exclusively talking about romantic love, but care for one another, care for other lives and their problems.

The movie faces many current topics such as homosexual relationships, love and family. Is it correct to state that this movie represent a message of hope to all couple that dream of a family but cannot have one?

The concept of family these days is in continuous evolution, what are for you the “main ingredients” that make a family?

My intention was to tell a story about two people that stay together for a long time, regardless of being two men, a woman and a man or two women.

They are about to break up because passion is gone, they are more like brothers and the kind of love they feel for one another have change.

And that’s exactly when the two children come into play.

At the beginning of the movie they did not want to be parents, nor get married and have to deal with that type of bureaucracy.

But thanks to the arrival of the children they discover them self to be two new people in their new roles and is a good discovery.

The movie takes interesting turns, many plot twists and many things happen some are beautiful, some dramatic some touching and they have to do with the couple or the children.

I believe is a great story of love and friendship.

But I also believe raising a child is the hardest job on Earth and to be a parent you need to use your heart and brains together, regardless of your gender. I could never be a parent for I want to be forever a child.

The Goddess of Fortune is an emblematic title.

The Goddess of Fortune is a Roman oracle Temple in Palestrina (Rome county, Italy) and is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen, I show it in the movie. My partner Simone brought me there when we first met, nineteen years ago.

During the lockdowns we live in, the movie industry have been cornered, as a matter of fact theaters and movie theater had been inaccessible....

What is the message you want to send to movie lovers all over who wish to experience movies once again?

This is a very sad thing but that we have to face with positivity, as these new circumstances may push artists, researches and experimenters to find and think of new solutions and way out.

At the same time it is necessary to push one-self to interpret the world with the right dosage of rationality to possibly conquer the violence and aggressiveness we have been living this past months. You can’t push it and place one self and other at risk.

"This is something that touched me personally as last March the venue where I staged an adaptation of my 2010 movie "Mine vaganti", had to close down.

That show was having a great success but unfortunately shut down due to the pandemia lockdown. I hope I will be able to bring it back next Spring

“Fortunately” the “Goddess of Fortune” came out in theaters two months before the first lockdown.

And lastly, I am going to have to ask you one, inevitable question.. Does Ozpetek believes in fortune?

I absolutely do! You can have great talents but to get to success it is not enough.

Generally in life good fortune is not about winning the lottery but meet the right type of people. And personally, I can’t complain.

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