One thing Pope Francis could use a lot more of is American Catholics offer unsolicited advise. Even more so when it comes to issues that are near and dear to his heart like these. Over time, he has indicated that he is a major cinema fan, particularly of Italian directors Mario Camerini, Federico Fellini, andRoberto Rosselini, and that he has a special place in his heart for them. Because of this, we enlisted the help of America’s staff and contributors to find a movie for Francis to watch on Netflix. The fact that he doesn’t subscribe to Netflix is well-known to us). He is said to be a non-TV viewer!)
For example, “The Spirit and the Flesh,” “La Strada,” and Visconti’s “The Leopard” might not be up there with some of Francis’ favorite films, but these ideas all give one or two reasons why Francis would enjoy the picture in question. According to recent reports, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was forced to cancel many public appearances owing to sciatica. Perhaps he might take advantage of this time off and watch a few of these movies on the couch with a Fanta?
It’s possible that “Babette’s Feast,” Francis’ favorite movie, was the first to be referenced in an apostolic exhortation issued after a synod.
1. “Billy Elliot” (2000)
On a Saturday night, is it possible that Pope Francis enjoys getting down and dirty? “Billy Elliot” would be a perfect fit for the pope because of his love of tango and the time he told a gathering of children that dancing “means to experience joy and happiness.” Dad urges him to get into the ring and get some exercise. Billy is a ballet fan. In County Durham, England, an 11-year-old boy’s relentless genuineness and simple joy in his feet may melt the world’s hardest knuckles. As long as we continue to sit in the chairs that society has assigned to us, we will be able to escape facing the reality about who we are. Everything in the universe was designed to move to the beat of its own drum. This year’s Joseph A. O’Hare Fellowship recipient is Erika Rasmussen.
2. “District 9” (2009)
You should offer Pope Francis a DVD copy of “District 9,” a science fiction story about extraterrestrial refugees who are stuck in poverty-ridden camps in Johannesburg, South Africa, and the bureaucrat who is supposed to expel them. Prejudice and fear give way to love in this video, in my opinion, which is a theme frequently espoused by Pope Francis. One of the themes of the novel is the grace that comes with eventually confronting our own monstrous and the way we project it onto others. Simply hearing Pope Francis speak about extraterrestrials would be a treat for me. Contributor: S.J. Jim McDermott
On the basis of the pope’s love of the tango and his remark that dancing “means to experience joy and happiness,” I believe the pope would have a deep understanding of Billy Elliot’s soul.
Real-life husband and wife Shuli and Michal Bat-Sheva Rand play despondent Moshe and gritty, hopeful Malli in this Israeli film. While Moshe and Malli have returned to Judaism, childless and impoverished, they worry that their hardships are a sign that they lack faith. Unexpected guests show up for Sukkot—the festival celebrating the Exodus—with unpleasant secrets from Moshe’s tumultuous past. The twists and turns that follow are both joyful and suspenseful. “Fratelli Tutti,” the pope’s goal of social solidarity, is reflected in this devotional film about hospitality as both a mitzvah and a struggle.” As a contributing author: Eve Tushnet
4. “Zama” (2017)
Pope Francis is sure to be familiar with Lucrecia Martel, the reigning auteur in Argentina’s lively cinema culture, even though the pope himself doesn’t watch much television. Antonio de Benedetto’s novel, “Zama,” is the inspiration for Martel’s latest, the award-winning “Zama” (1922-86). The story follows a Spanish Crown official in the 18th century who, in an attempt to flee his Paraguayan station and his involvement in the subjugation of the natives, makes epic personal sacrifices, betrayals, and suffering. It’s a political/spiritual metaphor about Europe’s role in the Americas and the place of the person in the world that’s visually poetic. Contributor John Anderson
5. “Of Gods and Men” (2011)
In 1996, seven Trappist monks were martyred in Algeria, and I’m sure Pope Francis will enjoy “Of Gods and Men,” the account of their deaths. For the first time, a film explains martyrdom and convinces the audience that “Yes,” they would have done the same thing. -Editor in Chief James Martin, S.J.
In 1996, seven Trappist monks were martyred in Algeria, and I’m sure Pope Francis will enjoy “Of Gods and Men,” the account of their deaths.
6. “Millions” (2004) and “Yesterday” (2019)
“Millions” tells the story of two brothers in England who are competing in the lottery. When there is an attempted theft of large amounts of money, the younger kid begins to commune with the aforementioned saints, such as St. Teresa of vila, who is extremely relaxed and cares nothing about what other people think. Scary things happen in the film. As long as you don’t mind a little preaching, this isn’t going to be an overtly religious experience for this youngster. A struggling singer-songwriter is the subject of Danny Boyle’s film, “Yesterday,” which I also suggest. One night, the globe is rocked by a storm and no one has ever heard of the Beatles. With the exception of the songwriter. He also plays the guitar. A voice, too. It’s a beautiful combination of music and moral debate. The Poetry Editor, Fr. Joe Hoover of the Society of Jesus
7. “The Social Dilemma” (2020)
After speaking to a number of big-name tech insiders, “The Social Dilemma” reveals how social media websites have “learned” to get us addicted and control our actions to the point of destabilizing whole countries. However, when it comes to identifying and addressing the core causes of social media use, Pope Francis shows his age. The pope is our spiritual leader, and I want to ask him, “What should we do in response?” by providing him with a better understanding of social media and machine learning. -Colleen Dulle, host of “Inside the Vatican” and assistant producer of audio and video.
8. “The American President” (1995)
As with “Air Force One,” “Lincoln,” and others, I regard “The American President,” directed by Rob Reiner and written by Aaron Sorkin, as one of the greatest president pictures of all time. It’s a great example of how the United States should lead the world. In the midst of four years of dread, it is easy to lose sight of the goal that our executive leadership should strive towards. Sorkin’s government leadership class is one of the greatest. For a reminder of what strong American leadership looks like in the wake of increasing interest in U.S.-Vatican relations, there is no better moment than now -Kevin Joseph A. O’Hare Fellow Christopher Robles
9. “Big Night” (1996)
There’s a lot of spirituality in this 1996 Stanley Tucci film about finding real connections with other people and with life’s deeper meanings. In spite of their frustrations, two brothers decide to take on the impossible challenge of owning a genuine Italian restaurant in a country where everyone loves spaghetti and meatballs. They plan a lavish celebration in the hopes of changing their fortunes. There may be some “mess,” but Pope Francis likes the way they go about it. “Senior Editor James T. Keane”