Pope Francis: A Man of His Word

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Pope Francis: A Man of His Word
Theatrical release poster
Directed byWim Wenders
Screenplay by
  • Wim Wenders
  • David Rosier
Produced by
  • Samanta Gandolfi Branca
  • Alessandro Lo Monaco
  • Andrea Gambetta
  • Wim Wenders
  • David Rosier
CinematographyLisa Rinzler
Edited byMaxine Goedicke
Music byLaurent Petitgand
  • The Palindrome
  • Centro Televisivo Vaticano
  • Célestes Images
  • Solares Fondazione delle arti
  • Neue Road Movies
  • Decia Films
  • Fondazione Solares Suisse
  • PTS Art's Factory
Distributed by
Release dates
  • May 13, 2018 (2018-05-13) (Cannes)
  • May 18, 2018 (2018-05-18) (United States)
  • June 14, 2018 (2018-06-14) (Germany)
  • September 12, 2018 (2018-09-12) (France)
Running time
96 minutes
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Switzerland
Box office$8.6 million[1]

Pope Francis: A Man of His Word is a 2018 documentary film produced, co-written and directed by Wim Wenders, focusing on the life and goals of Pope Francis, the 266th and current Pope and sovereign of the Vatican City State. A Swiss-Italian-French-German co-production, the film premiered at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival and was released in the United States on May 18, 2018.


Following Pope Francis as he tries to spread his words of peace in modern times.

During the film, Pope Francis discusses various topics as he looks directly into the camera and seems to be talking directly to the viewer. Interviewer (Wenders) is not in the frame due to the chosen genre of the interview - "alone with the world".[3] Francis' direct speech is alternated with various documentary shots about his life (visits to prisons and hospitals, speeches, etc.).



Wenders said the project originated when the Vatican sent him a letter in 2014 asking him to lead a project about Pope Francis. While Wenders shot the interview sessions with Francis, as well as the re-enactments and everything around the city of Assisi, much of the rest of the film was stock footage from TV stations and the Vatican archives; he received final cut privilege on the project.[4]


Box office[edit]

Pope Francis: A Man of His Word grossed $2 million in the United States and Canada, and $6.5 million in other territories, for a total worldwide gross of $8.5 million.[1]

The film began its limited release on May 18, 2018 and over its opening weekend grossed $507,870 from 346 theaters, finishing 16th at the box office.[5]

The film was released on August 10, 2018 in the UK.[6]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 82% based on 77 reviews, and an average rating of 6.8/10. The website's critical consensus reads: "Pope Francis - A Man of His Word offers a compelling look at the pontiff's ideas and message, even if its distance from the man means it won't win many new converts."[7] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 63 out of 100, based on 24 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[8] Audiences polled by PostTrak gave the film a 92% overall positive score, with 82% saying they would definitely recommend it.[5]

Nick Allen of RogerEbert.com wrote that the film is like "a non-denominational sermon, under the cinematic care of an artist first, Pope Francis fanboy second." Comparing it to previous documentaries about global warming, he also wrote that it is "a food-for-thought doc that wholly justifies its existence."[9]


  1. ^ a b c "Pope Francis - A Man of His Word (2018)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved October 13, 2018.
  2. ^ "Pope Francis: A Man of His Word (PG) - BBFC". British Board of Film Classification. November 26, 2018. Retrieved July 29, 2020.
  3. ^ Розенштайн Т. (2018-06-11). ""Вместо глаз папа видит телефоны" (интервью с Вимом Вендерсом)". Огонёк. Retrieved 2018-06-11.
  4. ^ Heaton, Michael (May 19, 2018). "Wim Wenders on his documentary 'Pope Francis: A Man of His Word'". Cleveland.com. Advance Local Media. Retrieved May 20, 2018.
  5. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (May 20, 2018). "'Deadpool 2' Swinging In As Second-Best Opening For R-Rated Pic With $125M". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved May 20, 2018.
  6. ^ "How Pope Francis became a movie star". BBC News. 6 August 2018. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  7. ^ "Pope Francis -- A Man of His Word (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved October 10, 2021.
  8. ^ "Pope Francis - A Man of His Word Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved May 20, 2018.
  9. ^ Allen, Nick (May 18, 2018). "Pope Francis: A Man of His Word". RogerEbert.com. Ebert Digital LLC. Retrieved May 25, 2018.

External links[edit]