Pope Francis held a special screening of this important film for Rome's homeless and refugees.
A new documentary about the life and work of Pope Francis is now streaming on Discovery+. The film, Francesco, focuses on contemporary world issues and the Catholic Church’s role in their solution. It features numerous interviews with Pope Francis, some of his family members, and even Pope Benedict XVI.
Oscar nominated-director Evgeny Afineevsky spent three years following the pope around the world to accumulate the footage. His travels took him through Myanmar, where the Rohingya people are in the midst of a genocide; Syria, at the peak of its civil war; and many more locations. Other world events are captured through news footage and reports appearing in the film.
In an interview with Deadline, Afineevsky said:
“I am tremendously honored that Pope Francis allowed me to witness and create this inspirational monument dedicated to the most pressing issues facing humanity today,” Afineevsky said. “His commitment to people around the world will lead us out of this difficult historical moment and into a brighter future. He is a beacon of light in this world for many and strives every day to enlighten people on how to build a bridge to a better tomorrow.”
According to Vatican News, the filming finished in June 2020, during the world pandemic. Francesco includes impactful images on the themes of COVID-19, racism, and civil unrest in the United States. Pope Francis’ remarks weave around these themes with“moving examples of his life lessons,” in the pope’s own words.
In 2020, the film was honored with the “Kinéo Movie for Humanity Award” for its promotion of social and humanitarian themes. Rosetta Sannelli, creator of the Kinéo, personally issued the award and hailed the documentary for its relevance. She said at the ceremony:
“Every one of Pope Francis’ journeys to various parts of the world,” Sannelli said, “is documented in Afineevsky’s work through images and news footage, and reveals an authentic glimpse into the events of our time.”
On May 24, 2021, Pope Francis held a special viewing of Francesco in the atrium of the Paul VI Hall. For the screening he invited some 100 of Rome’s homeless and refugees to enjoy the film. According to CNA, Vatican staff prepared food packages and distributed them afterward. The event was organized by Afineevsky and the Laudato Si Foundation.
Discovery+ secured the rights to stream Francesco on March 18 and it is available to view around the world. Click here to learn how to watch.