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

 |  Drama  |  8 April 2009 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 2,123 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
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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

 
Collapsing dreams with a vengeance.
15 October 2010 | by (Argentina) – See all my reviews

Reading the seven reviews about this movie broke my heart. How is it possible that we have only seven reviews of such a good movie when we see some dribbling silly Hollywood comedies with hundreds of reviews??

Well, that tells us about the sad state of the world. "El baño del Papa", ("The Pope's toilet"), has received, from seven reviewers, very well appointed comments, so I won't go much further into that; just from my point of view, I can add that I don't remember having seen a film as dark as this one with that sort of a downhearted feeling at the very end.

It reminds one of the 1940's Italian neorealist cinema. Or the Brazilian films about poor people. The contrast between the Pope, wrapped within yards and yards of excellent quality clothes, clean, perfectly shaved, probably exquisitely perfumed and made up, enclosed in his armor-plated Papa mobile, unreachable, aloof, always surrounded by dozens of bodyguards, delivering his totally unrealistic talk and obviously ready to leave that miserable place as soon as polite etiquette will allow him to, and the stark poverty of these suffering and hungry strata of humanity, full of aborted expectations and barely covered in rags in that very cold morning, reminded me of another excellent film, the Italian: "Brutti, Sporchi e Cattivi" ("Ugly, Filthy and Bad"), filmed with the same kind of marginal people and showing their fight for survival at any cost.

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

But the glory of this film comes with the final scene, the one around which the whole movie was constructed. We are given the same expectations of sudden riches that these villagers have had throughout the whole movie, from the very beginning, when they learn by watching the news on TV that the Pope will make a stop at Merlo, their forgotten little place in Uruguay, borderline with Brazil, to be cruelly taken away with a sudden crush from cold reality in no more than 10 minutes at the end, after a whole month of expensive preparations for the event, all villagers hoping to make some money from the tourists coming from Brazil to see the Pope in person. Tourists that will be hungry and thirsty and will buy all the food prepared during that month of high expectations. Only 400 hundred tourist came for the event, and the locals have had almost 400 hundred tents collapsing with food!! (they were told by irresponsible TV people that 50.000 visitors where expected!!)

Practically none of the tourists bought anything, in total indifference to the many offerings, and they left as they came, on their buses.

Totally heartbreaking. These villagers invested every little cent they had (some of them taking a mortgage on their sordid homes!!). It leaves you breathless. What a lay down!! Probably, as I said before, one of the most overpowering endings of any movie I had ever seen.

This devastating event really took place in Uruguay in 1988.

*END OF SPOILERS*

"The Pope's toilet", another foreign film (for the USA) that Hollywood will never dream of touching, not even with a ten foot pole, to make an American remake of it. But this one YOU MUST SEE!!


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