Thursday, January 8, 2015

by Ariston Anderson 1/8/2015 8:07am PDT

Angelina Jolie had the privilege of a papal audience after screening her latest directorial effort for the Vatican. Unbroken is the true story of Louis Zamperini, a World War II Bombardier who survived both a horrific plane crash and Japanese internment camp.

Pope Francis was unable to attend the screening as he was busy with a meeting with the Cardinal of Paris, but he did meet with Jolie after the screening.

According to a Vatican spokesman, Jolie kissed the pope’s ring upon meeting and he presented her with a rosary. She was accompanied by her daughters Shiloh and Zahara.

Jolie discussed with the Holy Father the history of Zamperini, how an Olympic veteran could overcome extreme trauma through faith. Unbroken ends with a slide explaining how Zamperini credited God for saving his life after years of severe post-traumatic stress.

Zamperini converted midlife to Christianity after struggling with alcoholism, PTSD and a failing marriage, which is detailed extensively in Laura Hillenbrand's book Unbroken, upon which the film is based. He died in July at age 97 during the making of the film.

“Being invited to screen Unbroken at the Vatican,” said Jolie in La Repubblica, “is an honor and a tribute to the legacy of Louis, a man of faith that represents the strength of the human spirit.”
Unbroken opens in Italy on Jan. 29.

Twitter: @Aristonla


Angelina Jolie Meets the Pope After Screening Unbroken at the Vatican

01/08/2015 AT 10:10 AM EST
Angelina Jolie kicked off the new year with a very high-profile audience for her new film, Unbroken.

On Thursday, she showed the film – which showcases the story of real-life WWII hero Louis Zamperini – at the Vatican.

"Pope Francis, aware of the incredible life story of Louis Zamperini, graciously welcomed the opportunity to view the film," Universal Studios said in a statement.

According reports, the pontiff missed the screening but met her afterward, along with two of her children.

A delegation of Vatican leaders and Zamperini's son Luke did attend the screening at the Casina Pio IV, headquarters of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.

"To be invited to screen Unbroken at the Vatican is an honor," Jolie said in a statement, "and a tribute to Louie's legacy as a man of faith and someone who exemplified the power of forgiveness and the strength of the human spirit."

After the screening, Jolie, 39, was taken to a room in the Apostolic Palace where the Pope holds hearings.

Like all visitors, she was given a keepsake: a rosary.


Pope Francis meets U.S. actress Angelina Jolie (R) during a private audience at the Vatican January 8, 2015, in this handout courtesy of Osservatore Romano.
Credit: Reuters/Osservatore Romano

Vatican City (AFP) - Oscar-winning actress Angelina Jolie met Pope Francis on Thursday after screening her new film "Unbroken" at the Vatican during a visit to the tiny state with two of her children.
Jolie, a special envoy for the UNHCR, met the 78-year old pontiff in the throne room in the papal palace, along with her brother, her daughters Shiloh and Zahara and an interpreter.
At the start of the short, private meeting, the US actress kissed the pope's ring and was presented with a rosary by Francis, according to Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi.
The Argentine pope had not been able to make time to see the film, which was screened for priests and nuns in a patrician villa in the Vatican which houses the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.
The flick is based on the true story of Olympic athlete Louis Zamperini, a World War II bombardier who survived a plane crash and a period as a prisoner of war, and touches on his Christian conversion, which helped him deal with PTSD.

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Angelina Jolie has met with world leaders, refugees and royalty.
Now the actress, director and U.N. special envoy has added pontiff to the list, meeting Pope Francis briefly on Thursday after screening her film "Unbroken" to some Vatican officials and ambassadors.
The Vatican said Jolie and two children were at the Pontifical Academy for Sciences to screen the film, which tells the story of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic track star whose B-24 bomber crashed in the Pacific during World War II. He and two crewmates survived on a raft for 47 days, only to be captured by the Japanese.
Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said the film shows "positive human and spiritual values, in particular forgiveness."
Francis didn't watch the film but exchanged a few words with Jolie afterward when she was brought up to the Apostolic Palace — along with the children, her brother and a cast member. The meeting was arranged by the Argentine head of the pontifical academy, Monsignor Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, who is a good friend of the pope's.
Vatican photos of the encounter show Jolie, dressed in a demure black suit — as papal protocol requires — gently clasping Francis' hands and smiling in the silk brocaded "Throne Room," where Francis usually greets heads of state.
Lombardi stressed that the meeting wasn't a formal audience per se, but rather a brief and cordial greeting in which the pope paid particular attention to Jolie and the children, giving them Vatican souvenirs.
"It all lasted just a few minutes, even though it was naturally very significant for those present," he said.
"Unbroken" has sought to appeal to faith-based audiences, given that Zamperini was a Christian inspirational speaker who attributed his survival to his faith. Though the film doesn't focus on Zamperini's Christianity, its North American box-office success ($90.7 million in two weeks) has been partly based on the interest of movie-going faithful.

ROME — Pope Francis met two American media stars on Thursday, though of vastly different types and levels of celebrity: Actress Angelina Jolie, whose fame speaks for itself, and Cardinal Raymond Burke, a hero to conservative Catholic critics of the maverick pontiff.
Jolie was in town to promote a new film she directed, “Unbroken,” about an American Olympic athlete and prisoner of war during World War II, which she has described as a story of “strength and forgiveness.”
Jolie has also said the experience of making the film has reopened her to the idea of the divine, if not any specific religious faith.
A screening of the movie was staged Thursday morning at the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Sciences, an office led by Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, an Argentine and a confidante of Francis.
In a statement, Jolie called the chance to present the film at the Vatican “an honor.”
The pontiff did not attend the screening, which occurred at the same time he was holding meetings with Burke and other senior prelates. Afterward, however, Jolie had the chance to greet the pope briefly.
The Vatican did not disclose any details about what was said in either encounter, but given the personalities involved, it’s a safe bet that Pope Francis had a fairly interesting day.

Pope Francis meets actress Angelina Jolie (R) during a private audience at the Vatican January 8, 2015.
Credit: REUTERS/Osservatore Romano

Angelina Jolie Visits the Vatican to Meet Pope, Attend Unbroken Screening

Jan. 8, 2015 AT 6:30AM

A holy blessing! Angelina Jolie has visited the Vatican where she attended a special screening of her movie Unbroken and met Pope Francis.

The mom-of-six was delighted to be invited to the Vatican by the head of the Catholic church, and to be asked to screen her movie for the Political Academy of Sciences.

"Being invited with my film to the Vatican is an honor and a great tribute to the story that I have told in Unbroken," Brad Pitt's wife said in a statement released by Universal Pictures to Us Weekly. "The story of the hero Louis is a great example of strength and forgiveness."

"Pope Francis, aware of the incredible life story of Louis Zamperini, graciously welcomed the opportunity to view the film and is expected to attend the screening at the Casina Pio IV, headquarters of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences," Universal Pictures Italia added, of the important event.

Jolie has brought her two eldest daughters Zahara and Shiloh along with her for the trip to Rome. Yesterday they were spotted enjoying time together at a local toy shop in Piazza Navona.

As exclusively reported by Us, Brad Pitt was also scheduled to attend the Vatican but due to a “last minute change” didn’t come, a source said.

The couple, who consider themselves nonreligious, both “admire the Pope” and “like the Pope’s message,” the insider tells Us of the reason for the visit.

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