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The Pope's Toilet (2007)
"El baño del Papa" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  8 April 2009 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 2,061 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 42 critic

A small South American village is in a flurry over the Pope's 1988 visit.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Beto
Virginia Méndez ...
Carmen
Mario Silva ...
Valvulina
Virginia Ruiz ...
Silvia
Nelson Lence ...
Meleyo
Henry De Leon ...
Nacente
Jose Arce ...
Tica
Rosario Dos Santos ...
Teresa
Hugo Blandamuro ...
Tartamudo
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Andrea Alvarez ...
Esposa
Wilson Alvez ...
Tomasito
Carlos Andrade
Brandon Antuna ...
Nino
Baltasar Burgos ...
Capitan Alvarez
Yonatan Da Silva ...
Liccal
Edit

Storyline

In Melo, a poor Uruguayan country village near the Brazilian border, several men earn their living from contraband, mostly transported on bicycles. One of them, Beto, is getting too old for heavy freights but hopes to earn a motorbike. The idea is to build and charge money for the use of a proper lavatory at the occasion of the first-ever papal visit to Uruguay, as His Holiness is expected to pass trough Melo where he may be cheered by hordes of Catholic Brazilians. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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Drama

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Release Date:

8 April 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Pope's Toilet  »

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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Uruguay's Official Submission to the Best Foreign Language Film Category of the 80th Annual Academy Awards (2008). See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Pope and God's blessed poor
11 October 2009 | by (Upstate New York) – See all my reviews

El Baño del Papa (2007) written and directed by César Charlone and Enrique Fernández, was shown in the U.S. with the title, "The Pope's Toilet."

The film stars César Troncoso as the small-time smuggler Beto, and Virginia Méndez as Carmen, his loving but cautious wife. The Pope is going to pay a visit to Melo, a small Uruguayan city near the Brazilian border. The residents of Melo are in a fever of anticipation about the visit, especially about the thousands of Brazilian tourists who will come across the border to be present at this historical moment.

Beto, like all his friends and neighbors, is caught up in the almost ritualistic excitement. He has the creative thought of constructing a pay toilet for the tourists as his means of finally making some real profits.

The rest of the plot hinges on Beto's schemes to acquire enough capital to construct the toilet, and to get the project finished before the Pope arrives. In order to do this, he has to come to terms with people other than the "honest" small-scale tradesmen who purchase his smuggled household goods. He strikes a deal with the devil, although there were varied opinions within our group of just who the bad guy was. (He was obviously a bad guy, and he had power over Beto, but we weren't sure of his exact role. I think he was the local customs officer.)

The acting in the film was uniformly good, and the two leads were outstanding. The locations seemed authentic to me, although I have no way to judge this. The subtitles were fine.

We saw this film at Rochester's Dryden Theatre, as part of the excellent Rochester Labor Film Festival. It will probably work very well on a small screen. It's an interesting, if flawed film, and worth seeing as long as you don't expect a masterpiece. Let's face it--Uruguayan films don't come along every day, at least they don't come along in Rochester. "The Pope's Toilet" is a way to enter a culture that is like our own in very basic ways, but far different from our culture in practical, day-to-day matters.

*Note* Avoid the trailer for this film. It gives away the plot and the best lines.


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