El Baño del Papa (The Pope's Toilet)


El Baño del Papa (The Pope's Toilet)

Critics Consensus

An offbeat charmer, The Pope's Toilet is a humorous, well-crafted tale with plenty of heart and a poignant social message.



Total Count: 26


Audience Score

User Ratings: 4,240
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El Baño del Papa (The Pope's Toilet) Photos

Movie Info

Uruguayan directors César Chalone and Enrique Fernández co-helm the nutty Spanish-language farce El Baño del Papa (The Pope's Toilet). The film unfolds in 1988, during Pope John Paul II's visit to Uruguay. While dozens of economically struggling locals devise plans to turn a buck from the arrival of the papal father -- such as baking cakes and wrapping chorizo sausages -- only one concocts a scheme to earn a fortune from defecation. Beto, a nickel-and-dime smuggler, reasons that all of those cakes and sausages will be digested rather quickly and that over 50,000 locals will soon be clamoring to use the porcelain bowl. Of course, toilets abound in South America, but Beto sets his public toilet apart by crowning it with an aura of prestige -- his will be the only Pope's Toilet in all of Uruguay, and residents, he is certain, will soon be clamoring to use it. Unfortunately, before he can set his scheme in motion, Beto must first locate the most appropriate toilet and make several risky trips across the Brazilian border and back to that end. Then, just as Beto is within arm's reach of success, someone thoughtlessly steals his beloved bicycle -- further hampering his mission. Regardless of the complications at hand, however, Beto's determination persists.

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Critic Reviews for El Baño del Papa (The Pope's Toilet)

All Critics (26) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (23) | Rotten (3)

Audience Reviews for El Baño del Papa (The Pope's Toilet)

  • Sep 25, 2010
    In "The Pope's Toilet," to make ends meet, Beto(Cesar Troncoso) smuggles goods across the Brazilian border by bicycle where on one trip his pal and fellow smuggler Valvulina(Mario Silva) is unlucky to have his goods confiscated by their nemesis, Meleyo(Nelson Lence). Anyway, Beto is not getting any younger and would like his teenaged daughter Silvia(Virginia Ruiz), a wannabe journalism student, to join in the family business but his wife Carmen(Virginia Mendez) violently disagrees. This is all towards buying a motorbike which would make his job that much easier, especially with his knee acting up. His bad knee also forces him to take the low road on a run which leads to an unfortunate run-in with customs. But the Pope is coming to visit and Beto has a plan... Inspired by a real story, "The Pope's Toilet" is a heartfelt movie about a poor community that is hampered by the arbitrary nature of borders and authority that preys on the weak. So, you can understand that they see a huge opportunity when the Pope comes to visit. For the faithful, this means spiritual but most see it as a chance to make money to at least temporarily lift them out of poverty. And some wonder if it is right to make money off the Pope's visit. But, then, they do not have any choice, do they? And what's more important, anyway?
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Feb 28, 2010
    El Bano del Papa is not great, but very watchable and enjoyable movie. It isn?t an easy film it has not heroes visual effects or soundtracks. It is focused on the real life and you have to open your mind enough to understand what poverty does to the characters. We see broken dreams, lack of material goods, lack for education even thought and for food. But behind the poor characters are hidden great messages about honesty friendship and family values and how strong those values can be. Also the film shows the reality of this area of the country where very poor people have to do their best {sometimes and very bad things ) in order to survive. It is the reality of most of our peoples in Latin America. The Pope's visit is a very good way to show what these people do every day to live a "decent" life. The direction, the actors, the natural scenery. everything is in its right place and after finished the movie I had the feeling that life is so and nobody can do anything to change the way thing are for them. Just one word to define it ?. Very special.
    Arianeta L Super Reviewer
  • Oct 21, 2009
    This movie is a GEM! The story is filmed based on a true event that happened in 1988 when the Pope visited Melo, Uruguay. It's beautiful, sad, inspiring, truthful, funny and angry. Superb music! EXCELLENT acting! A must watch!
    Jojo S Super Reviewer
  • Aug 08, 2009
    <div style="width:280px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com/photos/the-popes-toilet-11938670"><img src="http://content8.flixster.com/photo/11/93/86/11938670_ori.jpg" border="0"/></a><div style="text-align:center;font-size:10px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com">The Pope's Toilet</a> </div></div> The description does not match the film. The concept of Pope's toilet is merely an underlying theme used to cement together a sort of talking, cultural tableau vivant, which substitutes for a substantial plot. Interesting viewing for its own sake, nevertheless, but not at all what I expected based on the description.
    Pamela D Super Reviewer

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