German village Igelheim's backward priest hopes his sons to succeed him after education in the bishop's cathedral school, but the elder succumbs to disease and the youngest lacks any intellectual drive. Traveling teacher Aesculapius arranges for the inquisitive daughter Johanna to be enrolled too, against their father's wishes. Unfit for the boys-only dorm, she gets to stay with count Gerold, incurring his wife's due jealousy. She's to be dismissed, but survives a Viking pillaging slaughter and assumes brother Johannes's identity to join a monastery, where she becomes the infirmary's trainee. Fleeing exposure as female, she arrives in Rome. As a protégée of rivals in the viper nest-like papal court, she ends up elected as pope, but carries count Gerold's baby, guaranteeing exposure. Written by
22 October 2009 (Germany)
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According to Volker Schlöndorff's own statements, he left the director's chair after an argument with the production company Constantin, which wanted to shoot a cinematic feature film version as well as a TV miniseries version at the same time. Schlöndorff disagreed with the terms and left. Franka Potente then left also out of loyalty to the director. See more
Pardon me, Eminence. The girl has arrived. You had her fetched from Ingelheim.
Oh yes, now I remember. That Greek scholar's idea. But am I seeing double?
The boy is her brother. Their father, a Priest, insists that he too be allowed to attend the Scola.
What do you know? I send for one and get two! If only the Emperor were as generous as these holy men from the countryside!