Pope Francis, since becoming pontiff to all Catholics, has travelled the world delivering his message of faith and hope. Filmmaker Wim Wenders followed the man on his years-long journey to help those in need as “Pope Francis: A Man of His Word.”
I walked into seeing “Pope Francis: AMOHW” fully expecting to come out feeling really good. And, yes, there was a feel-good vibe but there is much more that is sobering and thought provoking in this documentary that filled me with hope, and despair, for our future.
Wim Wenders has assemble many teams of videographers around the world to follow the first pope to take the name of Francis, after Saint Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of Italy. Pope Frank (as I am fond of calling him) was born in 1936 but has the energy and clarity of mind of a much younger man.
Wenders accompanies the pontiff to such diverse locales as the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Ares, a refugee camp in Italy, Rio de Janeiro, the hurricane disaster zone in the Philippines, La Paz, Bolivia, the United Nations, a joint session of Congress, a Philadelphia correction facility, the Central Africa Republic, Lampedusa Italy, Lesbos Greece, the Al-Asqa mosque in Jerusalem and the River Jordan. There are more, but I ran out of breath.
The filmmakers mix extended interviews with the pope, one on one, with the tours and visits to the abovementioned places. Throughout, Pope Francis conveys his messages of love and brotherhood, freedom and peace, the world crises of rampant unemployment and hunger, the absolute need to protect the children, women’s equality, child abuse in the Church, the world refugee crisis and, like the places his visits, much, much more. He is a man of both deep thought and deep kindness.
Wenders shows the “man of his word” in many ways – washing the feet of the poor, meeting with world leaders, both political and religious, preaching the word of Jesus, visiting and comforting the poor and sick – and solidifies my admiration. He also shows the incredible wit and sense of humor Pope Frank possesses. What other pope have you every heard make a mother-in-law joke in public?
What are the most important things to strive for in our lives, according to the pope? “Have a sense of humor, smile, have good digestion…and something to digest.” Sound words. I give it a B+.
Laura did not see this film.
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