You might not know this, but Pope Francis is a movie fan! In fact, he has a list of his favorite films that include some from Italian filmmakers, and a few more from his native Argentina.
“I remember a movie: the children were watching, it was beautiful,” the Pope said in reference to a film by Vittorio De Sica, considered among the fathers of neorealism.
Among the top picks of the Pope’s movie list is Rome, Open City, an Italian neorealist drama directed by Roberto Rossellini in 1945. “The history of cinema is divided into two eras, one before and one after Rome, Open City,” Rossellini said. While we do not know whether Pope Francis is in agreement with his statement, he certainly loved the film. The Santo Papa tells writer Antonio Spadaro in his interview for the Italian Jesuit publication La Civilta Cattolica, “A film that I loved very much is Rome, Open City.” It’s also quite impossible to forget that “Francesco!” shouted by the actress Anna Magnani, who played Pina in the film, before she was shot, her body left for dead by the Germans who took her fiancé, Francesco, away. The scene left Don Pietro, the priest played by Aldo Fabrizi, to stare petrified at the wall. Don Pietro was inspired by Don Pappagallo, a priest who was killed by the Nazis in the massacre of Fosse Ardeatine on March 24, 1944.
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