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Vatican Film sheds light on life of Swiss Guards

2015-11-01

With unlimited access to one of the most sacred locations in the world, comes the story of two Swiss Guards and their experience as new members of the smallest army in the world. 

It's all part of a film titled-L'Esercito piu piccolo del mondo, which translates to 'The smallest army in the world.' It was produced by the Vatican's Television Service with Italian Gianfranco Pannone as the director. 

GIANFRANCO PANNONE 
L'Esercito Più Piccolo del Mondo
"They are normal every day guys who like to do normal things. They like girls, they go out to bars and talk about sports. But they also have their faith and they think that being part of the Swiss Guard for two years or so, is very formative.”

The documentary film, which was actually featured in the Venice Film Festival, is about more than just history. It delves into the lives of two Swiss Guards.  It follows their journey from their native Switzerland, to Italy and of course, to Vatican City. One of the soldiers is a theology student. but often times he questions his own role as a Swiss Guard. 

GIANFRANCO PANNONE 
L'Esercito Più Piccolo del Mondo
"Rene begins to ask himself, are we an anachronistic army? Aren't we a bit outdated? Are we just part of the Vatican's aesthetics? It's interesting because the film delves into this issue through his personal testimony.” 

With about 115 soldiers, the Swiss Guard is the smallest army in the world. Every year, on May 6th, they take an oath to protect the Pope at all costs—even their own lives. 

The film also delves into how this army, which  started back in the 1500's lives out its mission today. 

GIANFRANCO PANNONE 
L'Esercito Più Piccolo del Mondo
"The film highlights this strong connection of normal young men who find themselves amid the great and rich history of the Vatican.” 

The film has not been shown on the silver screen just yet. When it does come out, it will first do so in Italy, then Switzerland and producers hope that eventually it will also be shown in the U.S. 


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