Pick of the week

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Pay Television -

Rebel Pope Sun­day, 8.30pm, Nat Geo (610) It’s Easter, so per­fect tim­ing to dig into what makes Pope Fran­cis tick: what led Jorge Mario Ber­goglio from middle-class Buenos Aires to Vat­i­can City in Rome to be­come the 266th pon­tiff. The first non-Euro­pean pope since Syr­ian Gre­gory III in 741 and the first Je­suit pope, Fran­cis (named for St Fran­cis of As­sisi) has won hearts, both Catholic and nonCatholic, around the world. His hu­man­ity, gen­tle de­meanour, dis­like of lux­ury (he of­ten drives a Ford Fo­cus) and his rad­i­cal views have helped turn the Vat­i­can into an in­sti­tu­tion more at­tuned to the 21st cen­tury. This doc­u­men­tary ex­plores what shaped him dur­ing his 79 years from a tango-lov­ing youth work­ing as a bouncer in a Buenos Aires bar to pay his univer­sity fees, grad­u­at­ing with a mas­ter’s de­gree in chem­istry and overcoming his mother’s ef­forts to stop him join­ing the priest­hood, to a Pope who doesn’t hes­i­tate to kiss the feet of AIDS pa­tients, has ex­com­mu­ni­cated way­ward priests, con­fronted the Mafia, em­braced other faiths, eats in the can­teen and some­times trav­els by bus. Al­though he had one lung re­moved as a teenager, Pope Fran­cis has vis­ited 15 coun­tries since tak­ing of­fice in 2013. En­er­getic, dy­namic and con­tro­ver­sial — a Pope who preaches build­ing bridges, not walls — Fran­cis is rich ma­te­rial for this docu­d­rama, which fea­tures ex­clu­sive in­ter­views with those clos­est to him.

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