Chris Knipp Writing: Movies, Politics, Art

Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 1 post ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2018 8:17 pm 
Site Admin

Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2003 1:50 pm
Posts: 3758
Location: California/NYC
Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Pope Francis


This isn't very impressive or unusual as a documentary. Despite its source, the famous Wim Wenders, whose 3D tribute to a famous choreographer, Pina, is much admired, this is an uncomplicated effort. It doesn't go deeply into Pope Francis' private thoughts or personal history. Rather, footage of some of his many appearances, in many places, over years (he has been Pope since 2012) is alternated with interviews, where he states his ideas. And that's it.

On the other hand this is nonetheless a direct experience of an extraordinary man, and one who, on the face of it, is the most remarkable Pope we have seen, at least in a very long time. If this is your first encounter with him, as it was for me, it's likely to make a strong impression, and feel almost transformative. Has there ever been a more Christ-like Pope? His simplicity, his humility, his authentic concern about poverty and social inequities; the environment and sustainability, the condition of the despoiled planet; his reaching out to refugees and the sick - these make a dramatic impression when practiced by the head of the biggest church of the must numerous religion on the planet. If Francis doesn't have much influence during his papacy, we're pretty far gone.

This led me to Wikipedia and various articles about the Jesuits, Catholicism, this Pope, and related issues. I realized several things: how complex the subject is, how many questions this film does not answer. Perhaps it does the best it could do: it shows us Pope Francis sort of up close.

One thing is how many people he literally touches, and hugs, and washes the feet of.

What is the job of a Pope, anyway? This brings to mind the frequent declaration of Fran Lebowitz, that she would like to be a Supreme Count Justice, but only because "the best job," being Pope, is already taken. It's the best job. The other thing is "The Young Pope," the TV series starring Jude Law and directed by Paolo Sorrentino. Lenny, alias Pius XIII, doesn't eschew magnificence like Francis but wears the fanciest outfits and appears in the most dramatic manner. If Lenny is to be believed, a Pope can do whatever the hell His Holiness wants.

The film also features scenes from the life of St. Francis of Assisi, done in an antique black and white silent film style, which look a little like, and might have been inspired by, Roberto Rossellin's The Flowers of Saint Francis. But they don't even come close, and are a silly idea. It's enough to hear Pope Francis talking and hugging and touching people and see his smile. If he sets a true moral and spiritual example it is also, for the mass of us, by those simple things.

Pope Francis: A Man of His Word, 96 mins., debuted 13 May 2018 at Cannes. US limited release beginning 18 May.

┬ęChris Knipp. Blog:

Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 1 post ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 24 guests

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group