After the premiere of Pinocchio, by the director Guillermo del Torowhich is already available on the streaming platform Netflixmany have wondered the real identity of several of the characters, including that of Podesta.
This is the project that took the Mexican filmmaker 15 years to make a reality after being a lover of the Italian tale of carlo collodiwith which entire generations grew up.
However, Guillermo del Toro decided to take his project down a different path than the one he Disney he took decades ago and whose formula he repeated in the live action starring Tom Hanks.
In this sense, Guillermo del Toro’s film explores mourning, disobedience, the loss of a child, identity and the search for freedom.
Who is Podesta in Pinocchio?
Podesta (voiced by Guillermo’s frequent collaborator, Ron Perlmann) is a government official of the regime fascist and father of a boy named Candlewick (Finn Wolfhard) who befriends Pinocchio.
Its inclusion in the narrative stems from the fact that the film is set in Italy during the Great War, more commonly known as World War I, which lasted from 1914 to 1918.
War plays a central role in the events of Pinocchio, which includes real-life figures from the period. For example, Pinocchio sings a parody of a patriotic song to Benito Mussolini. He was the founder and leader of the National Fascist Party who became Prime Minister of Italy in 1922.
Until December 11 you will be able to appreciate the original puppets from the movie PINOCCHIO by @RealGDT Do not miss this wonderful opportunity! pic.twitter.com/5yEKGOF8WE
– National Cineteca (@CinetecaMexico) December 9, 2022
Podesta, on the other hand, discovers that Pinocchio is resurrected after death and believes that he would make the perfect soldier.
Expressing his desire to recruit Pinocchio, dodging the draft to the war gives the wooden puppet an additional motive to run away from home, while also wishing to prevent Geppetto from falling into financial ruin.
Was Podesta a real person?
Podesta is as such the name of the character, but the collins dictionary he notes that Podesta is a title given to the chief magistrate of a commune in Fascist Italy.
In that sense, the film never reveals the character’s full, real name because it suggests that the film’s Podesta is wholly defined by his title, rank, and duties, with the director drawing parallels between the film’s antagonists and puppets.
Like the carnival monkey Spazzatura pulling the puppet strings, Guillermo suggests that the Fascist government officials of the time are doing the same.
Taking all of this into consideration, Podesta’s character was not strictly based on a particular figure, rather the concept of the character stems from historical events. He was created by Guillermo and did not appear in the novel’s source material.
In modern Italy, the name Podesta is given to a subordinate magistrate in some cities.
Pinocchio: Who is Podesta in the Netflix movie and was he a real person?