- 10 Aug 18
Directed by Wim Wenders. 96 mins. In cinemas August 10.
Not that Pope Francis isn't a worthy subject for a documentary. Intelligent, charismatic and acutely aware of many of the horrors facing the modern world, he was a man of firsts: the first pope from the Americas, the first Jesuit pope, and the first pope of his name, taken from St. Francis of Assisi. And he has, in many ways, proven extraordinary.
Wenders shows footage of Francis openly criticising the Church's vanity and greed, campaigning for environmentalism, washing the feet of prisoners and the poor, and telling a joint session of US Congress that their arms deals are endangering the world. Wenders' interviews with Pope Francis demonstrate how he embodies this humility. Speaking directly to the camera, he is plain-spoken but philosophical, his warmth radiating from the screen. But Wenders never questions or challenges Pope Francis beyond his prepared statements.
Though footage shows the Pope generically condemning child sex abuse and vaguely tolerating homosexuality, Wenders doesn't ask him to elaborate. The director never probes into what it's like to be the face of an institution that has hurt so many people, and doesn't follow up on statements like "macho and feminist movements are of no use."
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