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Film / Francis: Pray For Me

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Francis: Pray for me is a 2015 Argentine film about Pope Francis, starring Dario Grandinetti.

Ana is a journalist, appointed to cover the 2005 papal conclave. She met Jorge Bergoglio, from Argentina, and hoped that he would become the new pope. He does not, and Ratzinger is elected instead. She kept interacting with him, and knowing about him. She covers the 2013 papal conclave as well, and this time Bergoglio is elected pope.


Francis: Pray for me contains examples of:

  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Néstor and Cristina Kirchner, who opposed Bergoglio as an archbishop and treated him as a political enemy, are completely absent from the film.
  • Decoy Protagonist: On paper, this is the story of how Jorge Bergoglio became Pope Francis. Actually, it is the story of how Ana met Jorge Bergoglio and saw him become Pope Francis.
  • Disappeared Dad: Ana preferred to keep her daughter and raise her as a lonely mother, instead of the abortion requested by her boyfriend.
  • Don't Call Me "Sir": Either as an Archbishop or as a Pope, he insists to be called just "Father Jorge".
  • Foregone Conclusion: Despite of Ana's hopes, Bergoglio will not be elected in the 2005 papal conclave, Ratzinger will. And despite of the so-called expert speculations, and even Bergoglio's own expectations, he would be appointed pope in the 2013 conclave.
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  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: When she was sent to Italy, Ana had a crisis with her boyfriend, who wanted her to do some thing wich was not specified, but troubled her too much. Bergoglio discovered her crying. Without asking which was the actual problem, he gave her an image of Mary Untier of Knots, so that she prays her and ask her to untie the knot. When they meet next, she was visibly pregnant of many months, and Bergoglio realized that was the knot that needed to be untied.
  • How We Got Here: The film starts with Ana and her daughter visiting Buenos Aires, as she writes a report about the new Pope. We learn later how she first knew him, had a daugher and saw him become pope.
  • Insane Troll Logic: When Ana had an interview with José, to clarify his denounces that Bergoglio had handed Yorio and Jalics to the dictatorship. She found that he was being overly suspicious over the evidence against his claims, and that his evidence to support his claim are just speculations, refuted even by Yorio and Jalics themselves. When she told him this, he blamed the church for the crimes commited by the Spanish conquistadores during the colonization of the Americas, and claimed that it's the same church, and that he's waging the same war. She left, as José kept insulting her like a madman...
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed:
    • José, the journalist that sent files to the 2005 papal conclave, linking Bergoglio to the capture of priests Orlando Yorio and Franz Jalics during the military dictatorship. For anyone familiar with Bergoglio's pre-papal career, it is evident that the character is based on journalist Horacio Verbitsky.
    • The military man that refuses to give information about Yorio and Jalics, and the woman that asked him to stop complaining about the government's corruption, are not identified or linked to any particular individual.
  • Present Absence: The fate of Yorio and Jalics is discussed during a portion of the film, but no actors actually play them, nor the film shows their detention.
  • Riding into the Sunset: Sort of. Father Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, walks away into a distant and dark door at the end of a long passage, in a Vatican building. The end.
  • Scenery Porn: The film begins with a lenghty number of panoramic views of touristic points of Buenos Aires.
  • Shame If Something Happened: Bergoglio asked a military about the fate of the priests Yorio and Jalics. He refused to told him. When they were done, the military told him that some soldiers would escort him, so that he "does not get lost, like your priests". Bergoglio paused for a second, fully realizing the threat.
  • Sidelong Glance Biopic: The biography of Francis, as Ana slowly knew about him.
  • Tempting Fate: A so-called Vatican expert told that the chances of a priest like Bergoglio to become pope would be next to zero.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The film ends when Bergoglio is appointed Pope. The epilogue shows footage of the papacy of the real Pope Francis.
  • You Are in Command Now: The newspaper already has an expert in Vatican politics. But he has resigned to write a novel, and the newspaper needs someone to cover the 2005 papal conclave. Ana works in the politics section, and knows Italian. Congratulations, Ana: you are in charge of that section. Take your ticket and fly to Rome, now!