Bill Doino, Jr. writes:
Christopher Cassel, an Emmy-award winning filmmaker, has just made one of the best docudramas on Pius XII I have ever seen—entitled, Pope vs. Hitler, it is based largely on Mark Riebling’s acclaimed work, Church of Spies, and I’ve reviewed the film in my new First Things column, in case you might like to read it.
The only imperfections I found within it are a less-than-adequate discussion about the Pope’s alleged “silence,” which I dispute; and an underdeveloped commentary on the Pope’s reaction to the Nazi raid on Rome’s Jews– about which there is now much primary documentation and first-hand testimony, in his favor.
I would also have welcomed more on the period when Pacelli was a papal nuncio, and then Pius XI’s Secretary of State; but there is only so much one can do in an hour and a half (and the director has said he wished he could have had more time to cover related themes).
Other than those qualifications, I give this film—which focuses on the numerous and daring efforts to oust Hitler, and Pius XII’s support for them—very high marks.