The Pope’s Toilet

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Read about this film in Cyn Collins’s Daily Planet review, “21 films in 11 days.”

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Director: ENRIQUE FERNANDEZ & CESAR CHARLONE

Set in modern dress and based on the true story of a 1988 papal visit, this shaggy dog tale (El Baño del Papa) of a smuggler’s desperate, bungling attempts to escape his meager existence is elegantly crafted with style and humor.

Accurately depicting small town life in South America, Melo village has no factories, no tourist business and no large employers. Residents scrape by with illegal smuggling from nearby Brazil. When the news comes that Pope John Paul II is to visit, townspeople plan for a 50,000 influx. Fireworks, food, liquor and anything else they can think to sell is sneaked in in an attempt to profit from the visit. Beto has a better idea – he’ll use his meager saving to construct a pay toilet for the visitors. His weary wife goes along with the dreamed-up scheme. César Troncoso gives a terrific performance as hapless Beto on a drive to better their lives.

(In Spanish & Porteguese w/ Eng. subtitles)

URAGUAY • 2007 • 97 MINUTES • DIRECTOR: ENRIQUE FERNANDEZ, CESAR CHARLONE

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