The Indie Film Corner: ‘We have a Pope’ and ‘In Darkness’

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“We have a Pope” from The World Series presented by Emerging Pictures in HD at USCB Center For the Arts on Monday, June 4 and Friday, June 8,  both at 6:30 p.m.
Synopsis: A cardinal suddenly finds himself elected as the next Pope. He is completely caught off guard, and panics and wants to refuse the office. To prevent a worldwide crisis, the Vatican’s spokesman calls in an unlikely psychiatrist to find out what is wrong. What follows is a marvelous insight into a human whose job is to exist as God’s representative on Earth.
Ratings & Reviews: This Italian comedy is fun for both audiences and critics. Internet ratings are IMDb: 6.9 and Rotten Tomatoes: critics’ 60/audience rating 58. Pleasant ratings. Critics: Roger Ebert: “… great entertainment”; New York Times: ‘’…emotionally generous and moving tragicomedy.”
Previewer Comments: This comedy in Italian pushes against our concept of the Catholic Church and how it works. After all, if the Cardinals’ vote and selection is based on God inspired reflection, how could anyone refuse to become Pope? Worse yet, how to make this problem go away? Obviously the stakes are high, the concept of someone actually refusing to be pope lends itself to comedy … and a delightful comedy we get. But, do not be fooled, underneath the comedy, the real nuance here is the issue of a man’s very real doubts and the inadequacies to serve God as chosen by others.
Rated: Unrated, but can be considered to be PG.

“In Darkness” from The World Series presented by Emerging Pictures in HD at USCB Center For the Arts on Wednesday, June 6 at 6:30 p.m.
Synopsis: Based on a true story, Socha, a sewer worker and petty thief in a Nazi occupied city in Poland, one day encounters a group of Jews trying to escape liquidation. He hides them for money in the labyrinth of the town’s sewers. What starts out as a straightforward and cynical business arrangement turns into something unexpected: the unlikely moral alliance between Socha and the Jews. The film is also an extraordinary story of survival as these men, women and children all try to outwit certain death.
Ratings & Reviews: Internet rating sites, IMDb: 7.0; Rotten Tomatoes: Critics: 90. Audience: 84. Very high marks. Critics: Austin Chronicle: “… like nothing you’ve ever seen before”; Newsday: “An epic”; New York Times: “It is suspenseful, horrifying and … intensely moving.”
Previewer Comments: This World drama in Polish with English subtitles was one of four films nominated for the 2012 Oscar’s Best Foreign film. Yes, it is a Holocaust film, but one that brings to the forefront the smaller acts of defiance by non Jews in German occupied countries during World War II. In it, the main character slowly moves towards redemption as he internalizes the moral wrongness of their condition and his actions. This film should remind us that, somewhere, sometime others will be persecuted in our future, but perhaps if we learn from this film, we will not join in, not ignore, but take a stand for what is right because it is right.
Rated: R  for violence, disturbing images, sexuality, nudity and language.
Tickets for adults are $7, seniors $6, students $5. Call USCB Center for the Arts box office at 843-521-4145 or purchase day of performance. Box office opens one hour before show time.

Dennis Tavernetti is a resident of St. Helena Island and retired to the Lowcountry having a lifelong interest in the arts. He encouraged USCB ‘s Center for the Arts to investigate the possibility of utilizing new technology to bring Indie, World and Documentary HD films to Beaufort.