“Pope Francis is a revolutionary and revolutionaries do not have an easy life” | The USA Print

"Pope Francis is a revolutionary and revolutionaries do not have an easy life"

“The globalization of indifference has robbed us of the ability to cry,” Pope Francis said in 2013 on a trip to Lampedusa, one of the geographical epicenters of the suffering of immigrants, from where he vindicated the culture of society against individualism. In his ten years of pontificate, which are commemorated this week, he has made 37 trips to 53 countries, which have revolved around the issues that most concern him: solidarity, dignity, poverty, the migration crisis and the condemnation of war.

The Italian filmmaker Gianfranco Rosi, responsible for films such as sacral GR (2013), Golden Lion at the Venice Festival, or fire in the sea (2016), Golden Bear in Berlin and Oscar nominee, attracted by the connection between Pope Francis’ travels and the topics that have most interested him in his career as a documentary filmmaker, he decided to search through hundreds of hours of footage to create a “secular Way of the Cross” that would follow in his footsteps. around the world and that arrives this Friday in Spanish cinemas.

As he pointed out in an interview with Vozpopulihis goal has been to map the human condition and the human dimension of the pontiff beyond the walls of the Vatican, while praising the symbol of hope that he has become for those who feel forgotten by politicians, or his analytical view of conflicts.

Question: Some of the Pope’s trips coincide with his itineraries in the movies fire in the sea (2016) and night (2020). Was this what aroused your desire to start this project?

Answer: All my work begins with an encounter, something very strong that attracts me. I never thought of making a documentary about the Pope before, but I thought of him when I was in Lampedusa, with fire of the sea. The Pope saw this film and invited me to the Vatican. then with nightI gave an interview for Il observatore and they showed me the material that they had shot with Iraq, with a language that was very audiovisual. In the middle, another movie: The Hitman: Room 164, on drug trafficking between Mexico and the United States, and there was also another trip by the Pope to Mexico. In these ten years, three of my films have coincided with his journey. I thought about how good it would be to make a film about the Pope always traveling, to create a map of human conditions. The film is made up of three elements: the hours of footage of his travels, the human geography that oozes, and the memory of cinema.

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Q: Is this a believer’s documentary or just a fan’s?

A: I am not a believer, I am not a Catholic, but I greatly admire this Pope because he speaks to all people, whether they are believers or not, Catholics, Protestants or Muslims. This Pope does not proselytize, but he speaks face to face with the people. I was in the Congo with him and there were a million and a half people waiting for him. And when he speaks to that giant crowd he seems to speak to each one of the people that are there, he has a very strong relationship with each one of them. He is a Pope who is open to interaction and it is the first time that the Catholic Church has opened up to the world like this. He is a Pope who approaches issues in a very political way when he talks about the arms trade, world conditions, peace, dignity or prisoners. There is a very strong human element and also a political one. He is the head of a state and he is the only politician who is capable of speaking without limits, without the political correctness that affects everyone today.

Francis is a revolutionary, and revolutionaries don’t have an easy life

Q: He is a Pope who makes little mention of God or Jesus.

A: He doesn’t proselytize, he wants to reach the whole world. There is a very strong spiritual element in it: the moment of silence. When he was named Pope, he asked people to pray for his silence, which is a very strong moment for him. He wanted to make a secular film so I looked at more political issues, we don’t see a church, we don’t see him pray, although of course he always does. He wanted this film to be like his encyclical Fratelli tutti. This movie opens up to that element of talking to everyone and opening up to issues that are political today. We see him talking about war in the US courts, or pedophilia in the Church, the gay community or the climate. All those statements are political. He is a Pope who is not only spiritual but political, and so this is a portrait of a man and a map of the human condition. It is a kind of secular way of the cross, a contemporary way of the cross. Before, the believer approached the Pope, now it is the Pope who approaches the believer. What he does is go to those who have been abandoned by politics.

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Q: Although Pope Francis has done what was expected of him, in terms of the openness of the Church and dialogue, it is very controversial, especially among the more conservative members of the Church, even uncomfortable. Because?

A: Absolutely, because he is a revolutionary, and revolutionaries don’t have an easy life. That is why the film is also a portrait of a lonely man. At the end of the film you have the feeling of seeing a person who is alone.

Q: Do you know if the Pope has seen this film and if he liked it?

A: I will meet with him this Thursday. I think he hasn’t seen the film, but he knows that I’ve made a documentary about him and that it deals with his travels around the world. I’ll ask him, but if he’s seen it he probably won’t tell me, he may consider it an act of vanity to see himself.

He wanted to show a Pope who was neither ideological nor theological, he wanted to give a secular point of view. More than a portrait of a Pope, he wanted to make a portrait of a man and his vision

Q: Why is there this fascination around the Vatican? Just a few years ago, a film was released about the relationship between Benedict VI and Pope Francis, played by Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce (the two popes2019), as well as the two-season series by Paolo Sorrentino, The Young Pope (2016) and The New Pope (2020).

A: Sorrentino’s Pope was imaginary, it is an unreal story. I wanted to show a Pope who was neither ideological nor theological, I wanted to give a secular point of view. More than a portrait of a Pope, I wanted to make a portrait of a man and his vision. The movie talks a lot about a world that is tottering. I wanted to get this man out of the Vatican walls, out of his political world, to interact with the world.

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Q: The trips appear in chronological order. What did you take into account when using the more than 500 hours of material?

A: After the war I decided to make the film in chronological order and there is an incredible moment when, after speaking with Patriarch Kirill in 2014, a journalist asks Pope Francis: “What did you talk about?” He replied that they had talked about his churches and about the war. What a war? The Donbass war, but nobody knew what it was, we didn’t even know almost a year ago. He then warned that if the world did not worry about that war, it was going to suffer. He is a Pope who always looks ahead.