Hot Take: An insightful, inspirational and humbling look at the most prominent spiritual leader in the world. Pope Francis offers up some progressive views (on the environment, especially) and words of wisdom for the Christian and non-Christian audience.
Five years ago, Pope Francis was elected as the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church. After half a decade, director Wim Wenders has provided a portrait of the man and his word interspersed within a history of Francis of Assisi who took a vow of poverty in the 13th century in support of the poor, animals and the environment. Saint Francis acts as the inspiration for the current pope and the historical account combined with speeches around the world the Pope has delivered to the masses. What Wenders does here that is most impressive is strip away the religion and present a more secular view of the Pope and his thoughts. It’s not easy to do when it comes to such an iconic religious figure but Wenders is able to put together a documentary that should appeal to the religious and non-religious as the Pope’s views, in many ways, apply universally.
The main criticism of the documentary is that its obvious the reverence the documentarian has for his subject. That’s typical but it leads to more softball questions than the normal documentary. Even still, the Pope’s views are enlightening and his dedication to service and the less fortunate is both awe-inspiring and humbling. Much like his inspiration, Pope Francis is seen as a revolutionary which is not necessarily seen as a positive thing in religious circles. Softball questions notwithstanding, it’s easy to see why Pope Francis’s words would shake the foundation of a fundamentally uncompromising group. There’s plenty to think about though and Pope Francis provides food for thought.
If documentaries aren’t your thing (or subtitles), it might make sense to dodge Pope Francis – A Man of His Word. However, don’t let the religious connotations scare you away. Pope Francis’s words deliver a positive and often progressive (when compared to traditional canon) view from the most prominent religious leader in the world. It’s worth the 96 minute time investment.
Hearing more progressive thoughts from a powerful religious leader is something you welcome.
Reading isn’t something you want to do when you go the cinema.