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Life of Pius XII to hit the big screen

2009-09-14

Seventy years later, scholars and people around the world are still debating just what Pius’s role during the war entailed.

Oscar Clemente is convinced that the pope played an important role in saving Jewish lives during the war. So much so, that he’s making a movie about his life.

Oscar Clemente
Producer, Pope Pius XII

“We are in the middle of a big fight, because the Catholics say ‘yes,’ the Jewish people say, ‘No, it was not true.’ What I can do, I’ll let people decide if it was or not.”

Clemente is the producer of the film Pope Pius XII, a $45 million project currently in preproduction stages in the United States.

Because he wants to convey an accurate portrayal of Pius XII, Clemente has read and analyzed over 150 texts on the pontiff, including documents in the Vatican Secret Archives.

Oscar Clemente
Producer, Pope Pius XII

“Every single piece of the movie has a little light in somewhere. We read something in the original books, we read some things in the original papers that the pope wrote in that time and we put it together and made a film."

Making a film around the sensitivity of the Holocaust is not an easy thing. For decades after his papacy his legacy was debated. Some said he didn’t do enough to save innocent lives. Others, like Oscar Clemente think otherwise.

Oscar Clemente
Producer, Pope Pius XII

“We leave the people to understand what we really want to show them. So, you see the movie and you can say it’s true or it’s not true. I just want to tell the truth. This is my point of view.”

Though there is no set release date for the film just yet, Oscar and his team hope it will be no more than a year and a half before their film on one of the more influential popes of the 20th century hits the big screen.


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