The poor Italian peasant boy Francesco already has visions of Jesus and Mary as a child, but the Devil visits him too. He, Francesco, is quite certain that he will become a priest. After ...
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David A.R. White
The poor Italian peasant boy Francesco already has visions of Jesus and Mary as a child, but the Devil visits him too. He, Francesco, is quite certain that he will become a priest. After entering the Capuchin Order it becomes clear that Padre Pio (his new name) has powers which can not be explained rationally: he heals the sick, knows the names, problems and future of complete strangers. His prophesies the then unknown young Karol Wojtyla that he will become Pope one day. Padre Pio's charity and extatic prayers make an great impression on the people. In 1918 the Wounds of Christ appear on his hands and feet- Padre Pio carries the stigmata. His followers multiply, and the cult that grows up arround him makes his holy order and the Vatican uneasy. Many within the church consider him to be an hysteric or a trickster, since he only shows his wounds the one time when they first appeared. Padre Pio suffers reprisals, he is no longer allowed to carry out his role as a priest. The ordinary ... Written by
Hard to believe that this was a made-for-TV; I watched it in Italy at its first showing, where it attracted a huge Italian audience. Even if you are not a Catholic, or have little knowledge of Italian, the film's production values are outstanding; beautiful photography and evocation of the Italian countryside; outstanding performance from the film's star, who achieves an uncanny resemblence to the real Padre Pio. Over-long in its made-for-TV form, but some of the film's longeurs could be cut to bring it down to a normal length for a cinema release, which must come in Italy following the film's huge TV success. One to watch out for if it comes your way.
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