The popes


This is not a documentary about Pope Benedetto or a remake of Asterix conquers Rome. It is the true story of a woman who posed as a man and became a pope.By Christian ScheußOh, there’s so much movie material about the self proclaimed representatives of God on earth. Such a really nice satire with an old man with red patent leather shoes, for example, who wonders that he is no longer in Kansas, er, sorry, in Regensburg, and who sings down from a large balcony: “Somewhere over the rainbow …”. That would be a job for Mel Brooks. Or a great musical that plays in St. Peter’s Basilica. There is huge space for big productions, Whoopi Goldberg could dance again as a Sister act, and in general everything would be very camp and shrill. It is well known that among the priesthood there are many gentlemen ladies with a fondness for sumptuous, colorful costumes. Can Sönke Wortmann not even implement such a thing?At least Wortmann is currently doing well in the subject, and as a producer of comedies he has also made a name for himself in the past. But the director does not make fun of himself in his latest film. He is seriously approaching the story of the life of Joan, who in the 9th century, as Pope John Anglicus, led the Catholic Church.The Story: In the year 814 AD, Johanna is condemned to a life as a woman. Her life seems pre-determined: working, having children and dying early. But Johanna rebels against the strict father, against the rules of the church, for their conviction and their beliefs. Because she senses that her destiny is different, that God shows her another way. In Dorstadt Johanna visits the cathedral school and meets Count Gerold, a nobleman at the court of the bishop. Her friendship becomes love. When Gerold goes to war, Johanna remembers her destiny. But her goal can not reach her as a woman. Under the name of brother Johannes, she disguises herself as a man and enters the Benedictine monastery of Fulda, where she lives as a well-to-do and respected doctor. When her true identity threatens to be exposed, she flees to Rome. There she meets Gerold again and realizes that she can no longer deny one thing: her love.More and more Johanna rises in the ecclesiastical hierarchy, the danger of discovery increases and she feels more and more that she has to decide: Does she want to give her heart to God or a man? But you have no choice. When Pope Sergius dies, Johanna is elected as his successor. Her feelings for Gerold, however, are stronger than her fear of being seen through – Johanna’s enemies are just waiting for an opportunity to oust her from the throne …So no Roman Catholic version of Charley’s aunt, but no remake of Asterix conquers Rome, although the staging of the roles and the decor of the film sometimes involuntarily remind a little. The novel by Donna Woolfolk Cross about the true life of Johanna brings Sönke Wortmann as a serious historical epic on the canvas.


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