Pope Francis: A Man Of His Word Blu-ray Review
I’m sure even the layperson reading this has heard of Saint Francis of Assisi. The son of a wealthy businessman, the story goes that Francis was so moved by a beggar who approached him for alms that he renounced his lifestyle and spent the rest of his life living a life of poverty. Despite his popularity over the years, no Pope has ever assumed the name Francis. That is not until an Argentinian Cardinal named Jorge Mario Bergoglio was chosen supreme pontiff and took the name Pope Francis.
A collection of news footage and face-to-face interviews, POPE FRANCIS: A MAN OF HIS WORD is an outstanding documentary from three-time Academy Award nominated director Wim Wenders. In the film the Pope is very upfront in his beliefs and very firm in his convictions. Like Saint Francis before him, Pope Francis gave up the luxury Papal apartment in the Vatican and lives in a more modest one. Instead of traveling by Pope-mobile, he takes the bus. He takes the time to speak with anyone that approaches him and, when time permits, he loves to take selfies. Not your usual Pope.
That being said, the Pope is very strong in his convictions. He is a big supporter of taking care of the planet, so much so that at night a slide show illuminates St. Peter’s Basilica at night, informing visitors of the dangers of not protecting the environment or, as he refers to it, as “the plundering and abuse” of our planet. In between interviews the film follows Pope Francis as he tours the world, addressing great crowds of the faithful as well as the highest offices of government. From the United Nations to the U.S. House of Representatives to a soccer stadium in his native Argentina, the Pope does his best to get his message heard.
In both his interviews and speeches the Pope doesn’t pull punches. He speaks passionately about the importance of working, of giving of one’s self both spiritually and in service to others. He stresses making time for the family. And, in a trend not seen with previous Popes, he speaks out on many hot topic issues, from the current round of “fake news” to the church’s views on homosexuality. He also comments openly on the pedophile problem that has beset the church over the years. His comments are sharp yet his tone is soft. He is not lecturing the viewer as much as he is having a quiet conversation with them. The results are a look at a man (and, in reality a symbol) that has never really been this approachable.
Whether or not you are Catholic, I would recommend this film to anyone that has wondered how religion can help solve everyday problems. Sure, praying is a great way to talk with God. But following his lead, through the words of the Pope, is even better. In my lifetime, Pope John Paul II has always been noted as the most beloved Pontiff in current history. With his demeanor, and through his deeds, Pope Francis may soon supplant him.
Video: The film is presented in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The interviews are bright and clear and the news footage is also sharp. My only complaint is that the subtitles are in white, and when being read during the Pope’s interviews you lose a lot of the words as Pope Francis is also wearing white.
Audio: The audio is in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and very clear. Though the Pope is speaking in many languages here, there is no problem with understanding him.
There are no extras included on this disc.