VATICAN CITY (RNS) — Held together by engaging writing and artful acting, the movie “The Two Popes” offers an intimate look at the relationship between Pope Francis and Benedict XVI, delivering a powerful message about dialogue and mercy along the way.

“In the end, the film talks about how dialogue is possible, and this is not only for the Church, it’s really for the world,” said Director Fernando Meirelles in an interview with Religion News Service on Thursday (Dec. 11), adding that “we are in a moment in history where the world is very polarized.”

The two popes “can disagree, but they can have a conversation,” he continued, and “I think it’s a nice, beautiful message not only about the Church.”

The film, while not

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