By Miguel MATO


Documentary - Pre-Production 2012

“Jerónimo Podestá, Bishop of The No Place”, invites us to discover the life and legacy of this great man who struggled for love and freedom, from his virtual exile in Orrea de Aninico, a non-existent place.
Avoiding any preconceived opinion, the movie will begin by asking where is
Orrea de Aninico

    • Year of production
    • 2012
    • Genres
    • Documentary, Historical, Biography
    • Countries
    • Languages
    • Budget
    • 0.3 - 0.6 M$
    • Duration
    • 85 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Miguel MATO
    • Writer(s)
    • Eduardo SPAGNUOLO, Miguel MATO
    • Producer(s)
    • Alessandro SIGNETTO (Doc Service srl), Miguel MATO (CINEMATO)
    • Synopsis
    • “Jerónimo Podestá, Bishop of The No Place”, invites us to discover the life and legacy of this great man who struggled for love and freedom, from his virtual exile in Orrea de Aninico, a non-existent place.
      Avoiding any preconceived opinion, the movie will begin by asking where is Orrea de Aninico.
      And it will inquire whom was this person sent to take charge of that people of God whose actual place remains uncertain for everyone.
      With eyes full of surprise and innocence we will approach a topic that might seem trivial, but whose deeper search will take us through the intricacies of the contradictory policy carried out by the Roman Catholic Church, which condemned someone who just wanted to spread the official word from this very Church, to a silent and refined exile,
      The search for answers will lead us to the meetings of the Second Vatican Council, which Podestá took part of finding the institutional frame, within his beloved Church, to fully express the feeling of social solidarity that consumed him and gave meaning to his life and priesthood.
      And through this solidarity, or rather love for our neighbours, he’ll show his work in the diocese of Avellaneda, an important Argentine diocese that gathers many factories with a huge humble population of men who work hard, but always find a moment to listen to this bishop who speaks to them about their concerns, filling them with hope.
      He speaks to them about Jesus as their friend, someone who chose the “option for the poor”, same as the Church this bishop represents.
      The government of Argentina, which at that time was under one of the many military dictatorships that came after the fall of Perón in 1955, looked askance at the massive meetings called by this bishop with calm eyes and quiet, though still firm, voice.
      The success of his call is the success of the new doctrines that in the ‘60s approached Church to ordinary people. And in Latin America it had a great development with bishops such as Helder Camara, from Brazil.
      We’ll see how he brings together two elements that are beneficial for the Church; he can deeply get to the faithful, and he also has an intellectual theological background which sets him in the select group who have, for sure, great future prospects in the Vatican hierarchy.
      It will let us see how the dictator Onganía asks the church hierarchy to silence him, preventing the massive act Podestá was organizing in the Luna Park stadium in order to promote the Populorum Progressio Encyclical. But the Church instead of opposing this request goes beyond it, forcing him to exile in a no place.
      We will be surprised when, searching for answers about that place, which looks less and less existent each time, we discover a whole list where the Vatican keeps detail of places which, as this one, don’t exist.
      May be we found the answer in Podestá’s private life.
      And there we find Clelia, a woman who becomes his secretary the minute they meet, and who is rumoured to have a loving relationship with him.
      But this explains us nothing, it’s not news in the Church world. We will begin to understand when we discover that she is also a woman with strong political awareness, who acts in coherence with her beliefs. Almost like Jerónimo Podestá.
      The documentary, unable to find where Orrea de Aninico is, will go along with Jerónimo Podestá’s life, to see what did this bishop do with this “no place”.
      And then we’ll discover that he never argued nor confronted this punishment; he didn’t resign to being a bishop, instead he changed this “no place” into “his place”.
      It’s no one but himself who decides to become bishop of the Diaspora. As if this virtual exile released him from earthly ties, we’ll find him again in newspapers, magazines, letters and papers, carrying his priestly work by gathering through his warm words and caring attitude, every persecuted, discriminated man who searched for a better world.
      That’s how, Podestá becomes benchmark of truth for humankind, anywhere, that’s to say everywhere around the world.
      Those who where sent to exile, the humble without hope, strugglers looking for shelter will come to him.
      All of them will be under his mantle of love, following his example of a life lived in coherence with our ideas.
      And all along our search we’ll also find Clelia, always by his side.
      They are together in love, life, and struggle.
      Together they join the brand new International Federation of Catholic Married Priests (which gathers 150.000 married priests out of the 400.000 ordained ones), and they found the Latin American Federation of Catholic Married Priests, which Clelia presides nowadays, since Podestá’s gone.
      Another question hits us: would Podestá’s life be the same without Clelia?
      But the question is worthless; love transforms everything and transforms us.
      The same way it can transform us knowing about the life and struggle of this man and his wife, within such a rough time, in “Jerónimo Podestá, Bishop of The No Place”.
    • Partners & financing
    • Italian partner: DOC SERVICE srl 10%
      looking for European partner (25% o.t.B.)
    • Production schedule
    • shooting Nov. 2011 - Feb. 2012
      editing March / April 2012
      Delivery May / June 2012
    • Beginning of shooting
    • Nov 01, 2012