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21 June1963
The Election of the Pope
Giuseppe Lenzi
Music by Guglielmo Pagnozzi

One pope dies, another is made, and to make another, a conclave must be convened to elect a new pope. This always involves a lot of uncertainty about the outcome of the choice. When a much-loved pope like John XXIII, who brought hope and renewal to the Church and the world, dies, the uncertainties increase. In this beautiful 8mm film, Giuseppe Lenzi renders, with his usual skill in capturing details, the moments of the wait of the many faithful present in St. Peter's Square. Between one black smoke and another, a grey smoke that is not clear whether it is black or white, hope and disappointment alternate. There are film film cameras and tv cameras pointing upwards, waiting. Even the statues in Lenzi's film seem to be waiting. But above all there are the people, filmed in close-up. Who look up and down, who protect themselves from the heat with a newspaper, who wear glasses and hats in the most diverse styles, who are dressed in cassocks or civilian clothes and who literally come from all over the world. So many individuals who at one point appear to us as a single body. It almost seems as if all of humanity is lined up waiting for the new pope, trepidatiously. And then, between one watchful glance and the next, the white smoke, and afterwards the new pope who appears at the window, little more than a speck for Lenzi's camera that tries to get as close as it can by zooming in. Further revealing his point of view and the emotion of a believer among the faithful, who films from the street, bringing back the feelings and impulses of the square. This beautiful 8mm film entitled 'Election of Pope Paul VI' by Lenzi and shot on 21 June 1963, is a great little film about waiting for the new pope, but we could say about the universal concept of waiting.