by Gianfranco Rosi
In the first nine years of his pontificate, Pope Francis made 37 trips visiting 53 countries, focusing on his most important issues: poverty, migration, environment, solidarity and war. Intrigued by the fact that two of Francis's trips, the very first to the refugees landing in Lampedusa and another one in 2021 to the Middle East, closely mirror the itineraries of his films Fuocoammare (Fire at Sea, 2016) and Notturno (2020), Gianfranco Rosi follows the Pope’s Stations of the Cross, sees what he sees, hears what he says and creates a dialogue between archival footage of Francis’ travels, images taken by Rosi himself, recent history and the state of the world today.
Gianfranco Rosi, born in Asmara, Eritrea, graduates from The New York University Film School. In India, he makes Boatman, about a boatman on the Ganges, presented at Sundance, Locarno and Toronto. In California he shoots Below Sea Level, about a community of homeless people, and wins the Orizzonti award at the Venice Film Festival. The next film is El Sicario ‐ Room 164, about a killer for Mexican cartels, which wins the Fipresci Prize at the Venice Film Festival. With Sacro Gra for the first time a documentary wins the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. With Fuocoammare he wins the Golden Bear in Berlin, the European Film Academy award and other international prizes, and is nominated for an Oscar. Notturno, shot in the Middle East, in competition at the Venice Film Festival, is shortlisted for the Oscars.