Pope John XXIII "Papa Giovanni - Ioannes XXIII" (2002) -TV Movie now on DVD

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LOU GRANT star, Ed Asner as the Pope who recently became a Saint, John XXIII

Massimo Ghini played a big part as the younger Angelo Roncalli

Watching the DVD version of this TV movie proves again that one cannot know everything.  When you read certain books and documents, you can only imagine how certain aspects of one's life are. True, not everything could be tackled, but more or leas you get to know or visualize a person's traits or psyche.

Biopics sometimes differ from what actually happen in real life. Sometimes they are presented as if the ones watching are wearing rose colored lenses. Others are produced at times to malign the "other party".  Thankfully, this TV movie is very fair to all sides, even to the detractors of the very humble then future Saint.

I watched this with my brothers and sisters in our Prayer Community.  I was actually late for 25 minutes(although it was announced to be shown at 7:30 in the evening, a lot of us were confused because our Parish Priest said it was going to be shown at 8pm...it's not his fault, really, because our prayer meetings usually start at 8 or 8:30 in the evening), but I'm grateful that I was still able to enjoy two and a half hours(and five minutes) of his life and the people around him.

There is some basis why others leave our sheepfold and go to another sheepfold.  I know that by heart.  After all, I left and I have returned for quite some time now.

The politics even inside the Roman Catholic Church is terrible.  Even with all the politics, it was the Holy Spirit who chose Angelo Roncalli, the very reluctant cardinal, to be Pope John the 23rd.

There were lots of flashbacks, but I am grateful to the great Giorgio Capitani for not making us dizzy.  We could still follow the movie and understand it.

I like Pope John the 23rd's sense of humor.  I think Pope Francis is somewhat like him.  He is the pope of the people.  

Ed Asner, I believe, has given life to the great Saint. He played his role quite well and because of his portrayal, we were able to meet him. 

All Christians all over the world respect him.  It was because of him that we embrace ecumenism.  Yes, unity in diversity is quite possible.

He was also the reason why the first cardinals of other nations were born.  He is truly very admirable. 

When he died Pope Paul VI(Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini) took over and continued what he started.  Praise the Lord! By the way I was very blessed to be carried by Pope Paul VI, even if it was just for a minute or so. :-)

I hope more people would be able to watch this film.  It has a great screenplay and the entire cast was chosen well.

Editorial Review from Amazon.com

An inspiring feature film on Blessed Pope John XXIII starring Edward Asner in an acclaimed performance as the beloved pontiff who came from common stock and was known for his simplicity, goodness, courage and love for humanity. Shot on location in Rome and Italy, and produced by the Italian film company Lux Vide, makers of Pope John Paul II and Saint Rita, this movie tells the whole life story of John XXIII from his youth thru his young priesthood, Bishop, Cardinal and Pope. Elected supposedly as an "interim Pope" who would just keep the status quo and listen to the advisers around him, John XXIII proved to be his own man when he surprised the Church and world by calling for the Second Vatican Council. This film also underscores his wonderful sense of humor and great charity towards others, especially the poor, downtrodden, and the outcast. Shot in widescreen, with excellent acting all around and beautiful cinematography, the film also stars Claude Rich, Sydne Rome, Massimo Ghini and Franco Interlenghi.

Special Features: A 16 page booklet by Carl E. Olson with study questions, biography of Blessed John XXIII, and resource list. Special documentary film with renowned Catholic historian James Hitchcock and Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J., on Blessed John XXIII and Vatican II.

This DVD contains the following language tracks:English and Italian language, Spanish & English subtitles.

This title was also added to the Pius Media Catalog in November 11, 2008

The Blessed Pope is NOW a Saint.  

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