The Shoes of the Fisherman

Synopsis: Ukrainian Archbishop Kiril Lakota is set free after two decades as a political prisoner in Siberia. He is brought to Rome by Fr. David Telemond, a troubled young priest who befriends him. Once at the Vatican, he is immediately given an audience with the Pope, who elevates him to Cardinal Priest. The world is on the brink of war due to a Chinese-Soviet feud made worse by a famine caused by trade restrictions brought against China by the U.S. When the Pontiff suddenly dies, Lakota's genuine character and unique life experience move the College of Cardinals to elect him as the new Pope. But Pope Kiril I must now deal with his own self-doubt, the struggle of his friend Fr. Telemond who is under scrutiny for his beliefs, and find a solution to the crisis in China.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Michael Anderson
Production: MGM Home Entertainment
  Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 3 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
162 min

Lakota, political prisoner 103592R.

Report to commandante's office.

Political prisoner 103592R.

Report to commandant's office.


Prisoner 103592R. Report!

Mr. George Faber, Eminence.

It was good of you to come, Mr. Faber.

A summons from the Vatican

is a very important event.

- Please, sit down.

- Thank you.

Mr. Faber, we would like

to offer you a story.

An exclusive story.

- With the usual strings, Eminence?

- And a few more this time.

Well, I'd like to know what they are first.

The story's political. Very political.

We need a certain reserve, a certain

discretion in its presentation.

We've known each other a long while.

I stand on my reputation.

Oh, it's a good reputation, Mr. Faber.

But you have to take the story as

I give it to you, or leave it.

If you leave it, I'll

hand it to the French.

I'd like it to break from

an American source...

preferably on television.

- It's an interview, then?

- That's right.

You can't bind me too closely, Eminence.

I can't always control

what a person might say.

Yes or no?

If that's the best you can do, Eminence.

The very best.

Kiril Pavlovich.

Piotr Ilych Kamenev.

Good evening, premier.

It's a long way from the Lubianka prison.

Isn't it, Kiril?

Sit down, please.

Thank you.

Will you drink with me?

If you wish.

Why have you brought me here?

I was curious to know how

the years had treated you.

- Is that all?

- No.

You have haunted me, Kiril, for 20 years.

Think back to the Lubianka.

It was a kind of mutual hell, wasn't it?

I, the tormentor. You, the tormented.

The man in the mirror...

...the man who looked into the mirror.

At the end, neither of us knew

which was which, correct?


I took you to pieces like a watch...

...and put you together again.

It was a very intimate experience.

I have never been able to forget it.

May I ask you a question?

You never hesitated before.

That's true.

This is you.

Political prisoner 103592R

Kiril Pavlovich Lakota.

All of you is here, from the

day you were born until now.

Except the answer to one question.

What you have learned in

That is a big question, Piotr Ilych.

The answer is important to me, you now.

What I have learned?

I have learned that without

some kind of loving...

...a man withers like a

grape on a dying vine.

Is that all?

I'm trying to learn more.

Have you learned enough to face freedom?

I have been free for a long time.

Not entirely, perhaps.

But you still haven't answered my question.

Why have you brought me here?

I want to show you a world gone mad.


Chinese mobilization is

now 80 percent complete.

The map indicates three new divisions

moving to the border of the Soviet Union.

Increased crop failures in

large areas of China... make famine an

absolute certainty.

As a result, reports show that the

Chinese are preparing for thrusts...

...into the rice bowl areas of

Burma, Thailand, North Vietnam...

...and a simultaneous

takeover of Hong Kong.

The United States 7th Fleet is

deployed in battle position... the China Sea.

And four missile-carrying

submarines of advanced design...

...have been added to the fleet.

Every day we ask ourselves

what we can do about it...

...before the nightmare turns itself into

a mushroom cloud blotting out the sun.

You see this fellow here.

He may not look like much,

but do not be deceived.

He's the leader of the Chinese people.

And sure though he undoubtedly is... three months' time, he

may not be able to feed them.

It's a mad world in which we starve

a great country into an atomic war.

I'm sending you back into

this world, Kiril Pavlovich.

What do you mean?

We're going to release you.

Release me?

- I don't under...

- We've made a deal for your freedom.


I am party to no deal.

You are, you know.

You're a man under authority.

You have always been.

The authority makes the deal.

You will accept it, see?

Why have you brought me

here to tell me this?

Because you are a simple

man who has haunted...

No, that is not enough!

Because wherever you are...

...I will know that there is one man

who knows me as well as I know him...

...and who can tell the truth

about Piotr Ilych Kamenev...

...and his Russia.

You must not hope to use me.

I don't.


...this is Father Telemond of the

Vatican Secretariat of State.

- Your Excellency.

- Here is your man.

Kiril Pavlovich Lakota,

former archbishop of Lvov.

- My lord archbishop.

- Oh, please.

Your passport, my lord.

As from this moment... is understood that His Lordship

is a citizen of the Vatican City State.

And enjoys diplomatic immunity until

his exit from the Soviet Union.

First, Kiril Pavlovich is to be informed

of the other conditions of his release.

Which are?

That the Vatican will publish

only the simple fact...

of Archbishop Lakota's release.

That Archbishop Lakota will

make no public statement...

regarding conditions or

persons in the Soviet Union.

I cannot accept these conditions.

But they have been accepted for you.

To your liberty, Your Excellency.

To my exile.

How soon do we get to Rome, Father?

About an hour and a half.

And then?

You'll be lodged at a Ukrainian college.

You're supposed to be received

immediately by the Holy Father.

You are feeling unwell, Father?

No, I've an enemy in my blood. One

day it will kill me, so they say.

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John Patrick

John Patrick was an American playwright and screenwriter. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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