The Pope’s Toilet. 2007. Uruguay/Brazil/France. Directed by Enrique Fernández and César Charlone

MoMA Presents: The Pope’s Toilet

April 8–13, 2009 The Museum of Modern Art

It is 1988 in the impoverished town of Melo, Uruguay, and Pope John Paul II is about to pay a visit. Expecting hordes of Brazilian visitors from across the nearby border, the townspeople anticipate a material, if not spiritual, windfall. But while everyone else plans to set up stalls for food and drink, one enterprising smuggler decides that a public pay toilet is a can’t-miss scheme. Enlisting the help of his neighbor and using money that his wife had set aside for their daughter’s education, he sets his plan in motion—but a series of obstacles puts his marriage and friendships to the test. The Pope’s Toilet is the bittersweet debut feature of Enrique Fernández, a writer born in Melo, and César Charlone, the Uruguayan cinematographer of City of God and The Constant Gardener. Special thanks to Film Movement.

Organized by Laurence Kardish, Senior Curator, Department of Film.


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