Pope Joan

(MA) Eagle DVD/BD

Pope Joan is the story of a legendary woman who, despite the odds, became Pope in the 9th century.

Young Johanna (Johanna Wokalek), born into a world where women were forbidden to study, finally disguised herself as a man to achieve independence in order to continue her quest for knowledge unhindered.

The first half of the film follows young Joannah’s struggle to learn despite the abusive repression of her religious father. Her zeal and determination are inspiring, and strong performances by the entire cast at this point set Johanna up to be a protagonist that the audience will continue to care about throughout the entire story.

The second half of the film is set against a tumultuous, warringEuropeand complemented by a love story.

David Wenham (The Lord of the Rings, Oranges and Sunshine) plays Johanna’s love interest, who begins to make things complicated for her when she must choose between life as a married woman or life disguised as a man and, therefore, freedom.

What is most fascinating and often shocking about Pope Joan is learning what was believed and taught about women both scientifically and religiously during this period.

Overall, Pope Joan is easy to follow, historically intriguing and, although the second half tends to drag along more than the first, for fans of historical fiction and conspiracy theories in particular this is a must-see.

Jasmine Edwards

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