“Pope Francis - A Man of His Word”, written and directed by three-time Academy Award® nominee Wim Wenders, is intended to be a personal journey with Pope Francis, rather than a biographical documentary about him.
Msgr. Dario Edoardo Viganò, Prefect of the Vatican Secretariat for Communication, set the project rolling when he invited Mr. Wenders to make a film with the Holy Father. The result was a rare co-production between Focus Features and the Vatican.
Pope Francis’ ideas and message are central to the film, which presents his work of reform and his answers to today’s global questions regarding death, social justice, immigration, ecology, wealth inequality, materialism, and the role of the family.
Pope’s many encounters
The film’s direct-to-camera visual and narrative concepts place the audience face-to-face with the Pope, creating a dialogue between him and the world. Pope Francis responds to the questions of farmers and workers, refugees, children and the elderly, prison inmates, and those who live in favelas and migrant camps. All of these voices and faces are a cross section of humanity that join in a conversation with Pope Francis.
This “symphony of questions” provides the backbone for the film, which also shows the Holy Father on his many journeys around the world. It features footage of him speaking at the United Nations, addressing the Congress of the United States, and mourning with those gathered at Ground Zero and at Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem. He speaks to prisoners in correctional facilities and to refugees in Mediterranean camps.
Throughout the film, Pope Francis shares his vision of the Church and his deep concern for the poor, his involvement in environmental issues and social justice, and his call for peace in areas of conflict and between world religions. There is also a presence of Saint Francis in the film, connecting back to the Pope’s namesake, through accounts of legendary moments in the Saint’s own life as a reformer and ecologist.
Lives what he preaches
In an era of deep distrust of politicians and people in power, Pope Francis - A Man of His Word shows us a person who lives what he preaches and who has gained the trust of people of all faith traditions and cultures across the world.
The film is produced by Mr. Wenders with Samanta Gandolfi Branca, Alessandro Lo Monaco (The World’s Smallest Army), Andrea Gambetta, and David Rosier (The Salt of the Earth). The film is a production of Célestes Images, Vatican Media, Solares Fondazione delle Arti, PTS Art’s Factory, Neue Road Movies, Fondazione Solares Suisse, and Decia Films.