Length: 90 mins
Region: Region 2
Released: 4 October 2010
Cat No: SODA062
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El Bano del Papa
Set in rural Uruguay in the late 1980s, this deadpan morality tale from director Cesar Charlone shows how an impending visit from the... Read More
Almost certainly one of the sweetest films you’re likely to see this year, this charming – but also keen-eyed and unsentimental – Uruguayan comedy tells the story of the twinkle-eyed but luckless Beto, a man who scrapes a living by smuggling goods across the Brazilian border on his bicycle. However, when Pope Juan Pablo II decides to come to his small Uruguayan border town, he – along with the rest of the villagers – decides it is his one chance to cash in on the flurry of activity that the visit prompts. Inspired by everyone else’s idea to sell food to the expected hordes, Beto’s grand plan is to build a toilet outside his house for paying customers (“half or full service”), but to do so he first has to deal with the corrupt border patrol.
With its air of a modern-day morality tale, in which the pomp and platitudes of the church are contrasted with the realities of life at the sharp end of poverty and debt, this is a heartbreaking, beautifully played, bittersweet comedy about honesty, friendship and family ties. Not coming to the Vatican’s top 10 anytime soon!