Pope Francis documentary debuts first trailer on his fifth anniversary

Today marks the fifth anniversary of Jorge Mario Bergoglio assuming his illustrious religious position as Pope Francis. Though his tenure has so far been somewhat tumultuous — courtesy of criticism of some of his most high-profile decisions, such as allowing Communion to be given to divorced and remarried Catholic men and women, as well as his efforts to decrease the sentences of sex abuse-charged priests — the anniversary is being treated as an occasion to celebrate his accomplishments (including by his predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI). Thus, it’s the perfect time for the debut trailer for Pope Francis: A Man of His Word, a new documentary arriving this May from acclaimed filmmaker Wim Wenders (Buena Vista Social Club; Paris, Texas; Wings of Desire).

As illustrated by the trailer, Wenders’s nonfiction portrait was sanctioned by the pope himself, who not only allowed the director to follow along with him on his international travels, but also provided him entrance into his private Vatican chambers — as well as sat down for one-on-one interviews. While such access will no doubt bring a measure of intimacy to Pope Francis, it also suggests that the finished work may be more of a lionization stamped with the pope’s seal of approval than a more detached inquiry into his still-ongoing papacy and the controversies that have often defined it. Regardless, it’ll be a groundbreaking up-close and personal look at the Catholic leader.

Audiences will get to spend some quality time with this holiest of holy men when Pope Francis: A Man of His Word hits theaters May 18.

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