Italian Film Festival

Legend of the Holy Drinker / La leggenda del santo bevitore

Info: Italy, 1988, 127 mins, DCP

Language: Italian with English Subtitles

Director: Ermanno Olmi

Cast: Rutger Hauer, Anthony Quayle, Sandrine Dumas, Dominique Pinon


  • Sunday January 5, 2020 - 3:00 pm

A distinguished man, dressed in a suit and tophat, wanders down to a seaside walkway where Andreas (Rutger Hauer), homeless and hungover, is awakening with the rising sun. The gentleman offers him a proposition: he will hand him 200 Francs, available for any use Andreas sees fit, on the one condition that he returns the same sum to the Church if or whenever he is able. So begins Ermanno Olmi’s 1988 Golden Lion-winning classic: with a miracle.

Best known for portraits of working class life like Il Posto and The Tree of Wooden Clogs, Olmi here trades in his trademark neo-realist style for a more whimsical one, following Andreas through a Parisian odyssey of ever-more-fantastic events. Recently restored in the wake of Olmi’s death in 2018 (Hauer also passed away this year), The Legend of the Holy Drinker has rightfully gone down as one of the master’s least typical and yet most astonishing films.

Winner of the Golden Lion award at the Venice Film Festival