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Franciscan Media: A Necessary Film for Our Divided Age

The path forward for us as a country is mapped out in the 2019 Netflix biographical drama The Two Popes—a film that creatively depicts the relationship and transition between Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI), a conservative, and Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Pope Francis), a progressive. Through honing in on a unique relationship between two people who could not be more different ideologically, we are reminded, here in our present polarization, of the possibilities ahead if we dare to dialogue with one another in a different way.

I watched The Two Popes when it was released in December 2019 on Netflix but was drawn to the film again this election season. Finding myself constantly disturbed by the vitriolic rhetoric and cheap overgeneralizing I was reading each day on social media by pundits on both sides, many of whom I used to respect, I found myself going to bed most nights with a racing mind and heavy heart.

How did we get here? When did we become so desensitized to dehumanizing one another? When did we start defining one another by our ideas and demonizing those who disagreed with us, as if we’ve somehow attained absolute moral clarity? Most days social media feels more like attending a witch trial; compelling, sure, with impeccable theater, but at the end of the day you’re forced to confront the horror of a burnt corpse. The film found me once again and gave me a glimmer of hope in my depressed state…

This blog was originally published by Franciscan Media. Read the remainder of the entry HERE.


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