The Pope's Toilet
|The Pope's Toilet|
|Directed by||César Charlone
|Produced by||Bel Berlinck
Sandino Saravia Vinay
|Written by||César Charlone
|Editing by||Gustavo Giani|
It is 1988, and Melo, a Uruguayan town on the Brazilian border, awaits the visit of Pope John Paul II. Numbers begin circulating: hundreds of people will come, thousands say the media. To the poor citizens of Melo this means pilgrims in need of food and drink, paper flags, souvenirs, and commemorative medals. Brimming with enthusiasm, the locals hope not only for divine blessing but also a small share of material happiness. Petty smuggler Beto is certain that he’s found the best business idea of all: "The Pope’s Toilet", where the thousands of visiting pilgrims can find relief.
Beto is thwarted by lack of funds and the local mobile customs enforcement officer. Ultimately the promised "60,000 to 200,000" Brazilians do not materialise. Apparently (in the film's postscript) only 400 Brazilians came, disproportionately served by 387 stalls for food and trinkets. The film makes it clear that the visit was a financial disaster to the town rather than bringing any wealth as promised. Beto has spent his daughter's college fund to no avail, but she forgives him, and at least he has a nice toilet.
The film was Uruguay's submission to the 80th Academy Awards for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, but was not accepted as a nominee. It is available in the United States from filmmovement.com.
BBC Four premiered the film on British television on 1 August 2010.
- The Pope's Toilet at the Internet Movie Database
- The Pope's Toilet at allmovie
- The Pope's Toilet at Rotten Tomatoes
- trailer with English subtitles
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