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National Geographic - Inside the Vatican
National Geographic - Inside the Vatican
Actor: Martin Sheen
Genres: Television, Educational, Documentary
NR     2002     1hr 0min

Provides a behind-the-scenes look, with unprecedented access, into life inside the Vatican. With rare footage of secret archives, private chapels and papal quarters, the program explores the Vatican's long, powerful histor...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Martin Sheen
Creators: Al Giddings, Alexander Grasshoff, Bud Wiser, James Lipscomb
Genres: Television, Educational, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Television, Educational, History
Studio: National Geographic Video
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 03/05/2002
Release Year: 2002
Run Time: 1hr 0min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
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Movie Reviews

Ideal for teaching about the Vatican and Papacy
PATRICK SWEENEY | NY, NY United States | 07/16/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Every teacher of the Catholic faith to young adults and adults should incorporate this DVD into their classes. It is so unusual to see the Catholic faith presented without an agenda -- and this succeeds. Everything is clearly explained and given a historical context. I was impressed with the archival newsreel footage incorporated into the explanation of the papal elections."
The living marble heart of a thriving institution
Jean E. Pouliot | Newburyport, MA United States | 01/10/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Martin Sheen skillfully narrates this colorful and wonderfully-shot depiction of the inner workings of the Vatican. The film shows us the printing service, post office, art restoration lab and choirs of the world's smallest state. You will also learn about site's history, starting as Saint Peter's tomb and growing to a small "trophy," and to two successively larger basilicas. The section on the search for Saint Peter's tomb is especially well done, with computer graphics used to explain the location of a 1st-century necropolis beneath the basilica's massive dome. The Swiss Guard is depicted through the eyes of the young men who swear to defend the Pope with their lives. It is also depicted via the tailor who must design each of their 100+ piece uniforms. You will meet Arturo Marti, the Vatican photographer, view some of his quietly-touching photographs and accompany him to a papal audience with visiting dignitaries. You will meet the Franciscan nun who has devoted decades of her life to hand-restoring some of the Vatican's priceless artworks. You will encounter the Sampietrini workers, who labor unsung to clean the floors and haul the massive draperies used during beatification and canonization ceremonies. And you will glimpse the Holy Father himself as he ordains another crop of bishops who follow in the footsteps of the Apostles to do Christ's work on earth.

"Inside the Vatican" is a loving look at part of the Church's material edifice. The film does not sugarcoat the real-life historical excess of those who walked its marbled corridors. Crusades, Inquisitions and venality -- all parts of the human experience -- have colored the history of the place. Yet one would have to be a rabidly anti-Catholic polemicist (or just plain stone-hearted) not to admire the craft, effort, love and piety that also went into shaping these hallowed palaces.

"Inside the Vatican" is a wonderful choice for Catholic Sunday school teachers who wish to impart a bit of the positive side of the institutional Church to their students."
F. C. Leon Guerrero | Agana Heights Guam | 07/10/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I found this dvd very entertaining and informative. It is a fascinating look into the operations of the most visited place in the world. The beauty and grandeur of the place especially the priceless paintings and artifacts have made the Vatican the most valuable wealth of historical information available. The dvd is great! National Geographic has done a great presentation of the Vatican and great to watch especially if you have never been there. This dvd is a great addition to any dvd collection."
Well researched!
Matthew Rapoza | Seekonk, MA United States | 04/30/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This video is an excellent video to show students, young adults as well as adults who want to know more about their faith and how did the Vatican came to be. I think it is also encourage anyone who is interested or curious about the Cathoilc faith to take a preview of the video. The video decribes how an ordination happens at Saint Peters, what actually goes on during an ordination. The video also decribed a Blessed and is story and how one day, he could become a Saint by the Pope. Finally, once a Pope dies, a new Pope must be elected, the video will cover that as well. The pictures of the Vatican are just awesome. I've been to Rome before, and these pictures just bring back memories. Also, I forgot to mention, the Swiss Guards. The video goes into how one becomes a guard for the Pope and there uniform. You must buy it or at least rent it if you can. The Pope is seen in several frames thoughout the video."