ROME — Angelina Jolie met briefly with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Thursday, following a Vatican screening of her war drama “Unbroken,” about Louis Zamperini, the Olympic runner-turned-U.S. Air Force bombardier who spent 47 days lost at sea and more than two years as a prisoner of the Japanese military during WWII.
The Vatican said Jolie, accompanied by daughters Shiloh and Zahara and by Zamperini’s son, Luke Zamperini, attended the screening at the Pontifical Academy for Sciences for high-ranking Vatican prelates.
The meeting was arranged by the Argentine head of the pontifical academy, Monsignor Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, who is a good friend of the pope’s, the Associated Press reported.
The Pontiff did not see the film, but met with Jolie in private shortly after the screening and was reportedly interested in the uplifting spiritual message of the pic in which Zamperini gets over post-traumatic stress thanks to his faith.
Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said the film shows “positive human and spiritual values, in particular forgiveness.”
Though Jolie and Francis met in the so-called “Throne Room,” where he regularly receives visiting heads of state, Lombardi underscored that the meeting, which lasted a few minutes, was not a formal audience. Still, it was a publicity stunt few other films have managed to pull. Last year Darren Aronofsky and Russell Crowe tried to meet the Pope in an attempt to drum up publicity for “Noah,” but Francis did not accommodate their wish.
Universal will release “Unbroken” in Italy on January 29.