Pope Francis has been known to go to great lengths to engage with the culture. For the first time in history, our Holy Father will star in a documentary, “Pope Francis: A Man Of His Word”, which opens in theaters nationwide on May 18th.
Award-winning German filmmaker Wim Wenders (Paris, Texas, Wings of Desire, The Buena Vista Social Club) had full permission from the Vatican to embark on this project. He conducted a series of interviews with Pope Francis and followed him around the world in order to make the film.
The film has already sparked plenty of fruitful conversations across the globe. Here is what some of the leading movie critics had to say.
“Wim Wenders’s laudatory documentary “Pope Francis: A Man of His Word” is an essay in radical humility capable of moving a viewer regardless of his or her religious persuasions, or lack thereof. It’s a reminder of what is good in this world and of a goodness to which we should all aspire.” – Ty Burr, Boston Globe
“With his kind face, intelligent gaze, and ready smile, Francis is an amiable and compelling figure. He is not what you would call starry-eyed, though. He shows considerable knowledge of the horrors of the modern world and speaks with simplicity, informed by philosophical inquiry, about what the Roman Catholic Church can do to counter it.” – Glenn Kenny, New York Times
“Still, as uncritical as ‘Pope Francis’ is, it’s impossible not to share the filmmaker’s unbridled admiration of the man at its center, where he evangelizes most effectively by comforting the sick, laying healing hands on those who suffer and, during the film’s most moving sequence, washing and kissing the feet of prisoners he meets in Philadelphia. Rather than showy pietism, the film convincingly suggests, these gestures are steeped in sincerity and humble service. ‘Never take a proselytizing attitude,’ Pope Francis warns. ‘Never.’ In this stirring portrait, it’s possible to see evangelism not in hectoring words or holier-than-thou bromides, but in loving action. Who wouldn’t say amen to that?” – Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post
“Words matter, the movie suggests in narration near the end, but our world is soaked in them. We’ve grown used to our leaders spewing words to obscure the truth. We’ve grown used to “alternative facts.” Leaders who actually live what they proclaim feel increasingly hard to come by. And Pope Francis — A Man of His Word is a rebuttal to that model of leadership. The portrait of Francis the film presents is gently, radically inspiring. ” – Alissa Wilkinson, Vox
“Francis brings warmth to this grim setting and draws an emotional response from its presumably tough inhabitants by reminding his listeners that Christianity’s very first saint was the Good Thief. Moments like that one give viewers an insight into the personality, thinking and global influence of the first pontiff in the long history of the church to hail both from the New World and from the Society of Jesus.” – John Mulderig, Catholic News Service
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