Movie Presents Boy Who Wants to Sing for the Pope

Shows Papal, Vatican Life Through Eyes of 11-Year-Old

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ROME, APRIL 22, 2011 (Zenit.org).- A new movie presents the figure of Benedict XVI and the reality of Vatican life, seen through the eyes of Francesco, a boy who dreams about singing before the Pope.

The German-language movie, "Francesco und der Papst" [Francesco and the Pope], was released Thursday in 60 theaters throughout Germany and Switzerland.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, stated in an informative note, "Without going into an in-depth evaluation of the film, it can certainly be affirmed that it constitutes a further demonstration of the willingness of Benedict XVI and his collaborators to accept new forms -- direct and diverse -- that make it possible to enter in communication with the great public."

The film's director, Argentine Ciro Cappellari, explained that the leading actor is an 11-year-old Roman boy with a passion for soccer and music, and a member of the Sistine Chapel choir.

Because of his voice, that has an extraordinary timbre, he is chosen to sing alone before the Holy Father.

Under the expert guidance of Monsignor Giuseppe Liberto, who served as director of that choir from 1997 to 2010, the boy is accompanied in the film during his preparation until the culminating moment when he sings before the Pontiff.

At the same time, the movie depicts historical events from the ministry of Benedict XVI in 2009, including apostolic journeys to Africa and the Holy Land and images of the daily life and activity of the Pope. It also shows an image of the Holy Father recollected in prayer during an outing in the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo, outside Rome.

Always seen through the boy's eyes, during 90 minutes of the film the spectator is introduced to various aspects of Vatican life such as the training of the Swiss guards and gendarmes, and celebrations in St. Peter's Basilica.

The images and the collaboration given by the Vatican Television Center, as well as the assistance of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, make this film a very original production, which also offers moviegoers in general the possibility to enter the world of the Vatican and come closer to the figure of the Holy Father, in a simple and informal way, noted Father Lombardi.

A first viewing of it was presented on March 24 in Munich, Germany, to several guests, including the archbishop of Munich and Freising, Cardinal Reinhard Marx.

On April 8, there were two other first viewings in Wurzburg, Germany, and in Einsiedeln, Switzerland.

The film was produced by P. Weckert, N. Preuss, O. Berben and the German Fanes Film in cooperation with Constantin Film and Beta Film.

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On the Net:

Film Web site (in German): www.papst-film.de