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Every Monday the Journey with Jesus posts a new essay based upon the Biblical Lectionary, a film review, a book review, and a poem or prayer.

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The Journey with Jesus: Film Reviews

Film Reviews by Dan Clendenin

The Pope's Toilet (2007) — UruguayThe Pope's Toilet (2007) — Uruguay

          We're told at the beginning of this film that "the events of this story are in essence true." Back in 1988 Pope John Paul II visited the tiny Uruguayan village of Melo on the border of Brazil. Rumor had it that as many as 200,000 worshippers would flood the village, and so the peasants sensed an enormous economic opportunity to escape their grinding poverty. The film focuses on Beto, a smuggler who rides his rickety bike 30 miles back and forth into Brazil to deliver goods back in Melo. He's a loving father and husband who has trouble with the bottle, but he's always got his "thinking cap on," he tells his wife Carmen. Beto builds an out house with plans to charge the throngs of visitors. But like so many poor people of the world caught between forces they can't control and promises made that aren't kept, things turn out differently. "God will help us," Beto assures Carmen. "If He doesn't help the poor then who does He help?" That's a good question. In Spanish with English subtitles.