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Pius XII: Under the Roman Sky
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(Apr 10, 2013)
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This DVD contains the following language options: English with English and Spanish subtitles.
Top Customer Reviews
This movie has 2 parts. The first part begins with the Pope in his study. He sees a section of Rome being bombed and along with his entourage, taking with him supplies, he rushes to the scene of the incident to comfort the victims.It is followed by the Armistice of 1943 where by the Italy leaves the Axis. The citizens of Rome falsely believe that the war has come to an end. However this sets the precedent for the Nazi occupation of Rome. The Jewish community until then, lives in relative safety and here we meet the characters of Miriam and Davide, two twenty somethings who are long time friends and who secretly share a love for each other. The first part primarily is spent on the political situation in occupied Rome as well as the lives of these two people and their family.
In Part II, the Nazi occupation begins and we begin to see the actual role the pontiff plays to ensure the safety of the Jewish community by opening up the convents, monasteries and churches to shelter the refugees and getting a Nazi general to collaborate with the Vatican so as to protect these peoples whom are being sheltered.Also depicted is the elaborate plan that the Nazis had to kidnap the Pope.Read more ›
However, my biggest problem with this film is that failed to address the extensive effort that Pope Pius XII made to save the Jews. Granted it showed it on the local level in Rome and briefly alluded to many convents, monasteries, and parishes in Rome that sheltered the Jews, but Pius' efforts went beyond Rome and the film never addressed the Church's efforts to save the Jews on a broader scale and helped numerous Jews immigrate to safe countries outside of Europe. Seeing that the film was over three hours long it should have shown this or at least had an epilogue that mentioned this before the credits. The numbers vary on exactly how many Jews Pope Pius and the Church as a whole saved from the Nazi Holocaust, but many statistics show that he saved as many if not even more Jews that Oscar Shindler did, and yet Shindler is remembered as a hero (and rightfully so) but a black legend now exists that makes people believe that Pope Pius worked with Hitler instead of against him in WWII.
This film refers to Pope Pius' many statements and even an encyclical he wrote where he blasted the Nazis. This was really awesome!Read more ›
In over 3 hours, Pius XII is actually seen on screen in what seemed like less than a third of the entire movie. This was a disappointment and the reason I docked this otherwise fine drama by a star.
As another reviewer indicated the central story here is chiefly a love story. There are two Jewish young adults and a few other characters during the persecution whom they interact with that are the main focus of the movie. This fills up the majority of the screen time. Then every once in a while as if the director was reminded of the movie's title, there are also some scenes with the Pope in scattered Vatican scenes once in a while.
We learn little about the Pope's background. Also little of his actual historical actions and not much of the scope of those actions. It was only after reading the insert booklet that came with the DVD after watching the entire movie that I learned that Pope Pius XII actually saved over 40,000 Jews in Italy. I did not learn that from this movie which shows us only a very small subset of those saved apparently so that we get to know them and empathize with drama the smaller cast of characters.
Though I enjoyed this movie for the one viewing, its interest for repeated viewings once seen is low as I already know the central love story now as well as their hardships and the Pope is not a major part of the movie as I had first expected. So I docked it a second star as I will likely not be watching this movie again.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A lot of very bad acting and bad writing!!! Random fictional characters and their stories ate up a lot of film that could've been spent telling us MORE about Pius XII. Read morePublished 13 hours ago by S. Elder
Very Good, if you follow the Pope movies in sequence you then look up history and
you learn a lot!
Glad to have it in my Faith collection.
This 200-minute made-for-TV movie (in two parts) depicts Pope Pius XII during World War II. He lives in Vatican City surrounded by Axis-controlled Rome. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Joseph M. Reninger
James Cromwell provides a believable and outstanding performance, possibly a career apogee. This movie was recommended to me while on a Holy Land Pilgrimage last month. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Hawkeye
I have seen it before on EWTN Saturday night movie. But having it in my possession, I am able to see it again.Published 7 months ago by Concetta glorioso