The Pope’s Toilet

Director: Cesar Charlone & Enrique Fernandez

uruguay • 2007 • subtitled colour •dolby stereo sr 97 mins

The inhabitants of Melo, a small Uruguayan town bordering Brazil, make their living as best they can, but business is not booming and the customs police exact a hard price for turning a blind eye to illegal border traffic. Then news comes through that Pope John Paul II is visiting and many seize the opportunity to capitalise on this once in a lifetime opportunity. For Beto (Cesar Troncoso), this involves investing the family’s meagre savings in the construction of a toilet that will service the tourists during their time in the town.
Oscar-nominated cinematographer Cesar Charlone and screenwriter Enrique Fernandez have made an engaging drama of human aspiration which takes its initial idea from the 1988 Papal visit to Melo. While focusing on Beto’s race against time to construct the lavatory, the film-makers are able to set his struggle against the larger canvas of the community’s colourful adventures. The result is an elegantly crafted tale of the frenzy that ensues when a celebrity comes to town.—Maria Delgado.

Book Tickets