tv series

TV series on Pope Francis skates over his controversial Argentina years

The Netflix series ‘Call Me Francis’ revisits the formative years of Jorge Bergoglio.

Call Me Francis, the four-part fictional miniseries about Pope Francis, began life as an Italian film that had its world premiere at the Vatican in 2016. That is hardly surprising, since the miniseries chooses to paper over many of the accusations that have been hurled at the head of the Catholic Church relating to his time as a priest in Argentina.

The miniseries, currently streaming on Netflix, begins with a young Jorge Bergoglio, played stirringly by Rodrigo de la Sarna, in Buenos Aires in the 1960s. This was perhaps the last uncomplicated time in the future Pope’s life, as he spent carefree evenings with friends and debated whether to commit to a life of bachelorhood. An interesting subplot involves his time as a school teacher of literature during which he invited Jorge Luis Borges to lecture to his students.

Bergoglio was ordained a priest in 1969 and made Provincial, the head of the Jesuits in Buenos Aires, in 1973. The series pays close attention to the aftermath of his ascension as Provincial, a time that coincided with the “Dirty War” unleashed by the military dictatorship under the leadership of General Videla. Numbers vary, but close to 30,000 people “disappeared” in the period between 1974 and 1982. Apart from dissidents and left-wing political figures, the military abducted a motley group of people who it believed were undermining its interests.

Call Me Francis.

Orlando Yorio and Francisco Jalics, Jesuit priests under the protection of Bergoglio, were suspected by the military of fomenting Marxist ideology among the poor they worked with. The two were kidnapped and tortured in detention before being dropped from helicopters in the outskirts of Buenos Aires. The other story the series focuses on pertains to Esther Careaga, whose daughter disappeared and who happened to be Bergoglio’s boss at the chemical technology company he was employed with before becoming a priest. She was drugged and thrown into the sea.

While the series presents both these incidents, it chooses to give Bergoglio the benefit of the doubt. In the case of the priests, it showcases how Bergoglio tried reasoning with them, in vain, to focus on pastoral work. Its treatment of Esther’s case is more brutal, both in capturing in shocking detail her final journey and in delineating Bergoglio’s inability to do anything to assist her. Yet, the series ultimately presents Bergoglio as a sympathetic figure, even at the cost of authenticity.

In one scene, Bergoglio is shown spotting Esther, after she disappeared, walking in a daze on the streets of Buenos Aires. He calls out to her but she does not respond. He bursts into tears, and the viewer feels a pang of empathy for him. In reality, however, Esther died at sea. Bergoglio refused to name the assailants of his Jesuit protégés in a 2010 testimony on the crimes committed during the Dirty War.

Pope Francis’s silence during a horrific time in his country’s history remains an open wound. Call Me Francis adds little to the conversation except for portraying its protagonist with a benevolence that is perhaps not earned.

We welcome your comments at
Sponsored Content BY 

What’s the difference between ‘a’ washing machine and a ‘great’ washing machine?

The right machine can save water, power consumption, time, energy and your clothes from damage.

In 2010, Hans Rosling, a Swedish statistician, convinced a room full of people that the washing machine was the greatest invention of the industrial revolution. In the TED talk delivered by him, he illuminates how the washing machine freed women from doing hours of labour intensive laundry, giving them the time to read books and eventually join the labour force. Rosling’s argument rings true even today as it is difficult to deny the significance of the washing machine in our everyday lives.

For many households, buying a washing machine is a sizable investment. Oddly, buyers underestimate the importance of the decision-making process while buying one and don’t research the purchase as much as they would for a television or refrigerator. Most buyers limit their buying criteria to type, size and price of the washing machine.

Visible technological advancements can be seen all around us, making it fair to expect a lot more from household appliances, especially washing machines. Here are a few features to expect and look out for before investing in a washing machine:

Cover your basics

Do you wash your towels every day? How frequently do you do your laundry? Are you okay with a bit of manual intervention during the wash cycle? These questions will help filter the basic type of washing machine you need. The semi-automatics require manual intervention to move clothes from the washing tub to the drying tub and are priced lower than a fully-automatic. A fully-automatic comes in two types: front load and top load. Front loading machines use less water by rotating the inner drum and using gravity to move the clothes through water.

Size matters

The size or the capacity of the machine is directly proportional to the consumption of electricity. The right machine capacity depends on the daily requirement of the household. For instance, for couples or individuals, a 6kg capacity would be adequate whereas a family of four might need an 8 kg or bigger capacity for their laundry needs. This is an important factor to consider since the wrong decision can consume an unnecessary amount of electricity.

Machine intelligence that helps save time

In situations when time works against you and your laundry, features of a well-designed washing machine can come to rescue. There are programmes for urgent laundry needs that provide clean laundry in a super quick 15 to 30 minutes’ cycle; a time delay feature that can assist you to start the laundry at a desired time etc. Many of these features dispel the notion that longer wash cycles mean cleaner clothes. In fact, some washing machines come with pre-activated wash cycles that offer shortest wash cycles across all programmes without compromising on cleanliness.

The green quotient

Despite the conveniences washing machines offer, many of them also consume a substantial amount of electricity and water. By paying close attention to performance features, it’s possible to find washing machines that use less water and energy. For example, there are machines which can adjust the levels of water used based on the size of the load. The reduced water usage, in turn, helps reduce the usage of electricity. Further, machines that promise a silent, no-vibration wash don’t just reduce noise – they are also more efficient as they are designed to work with less friction, thus reducing the energy consumed.

Customisable washing modes

Crushed dresses, out-of-shape shirts and shrunken sweaters are stuff of laundry nightmares. Most of us would rather take out the time to hand wash our expensive items of clothing rather than trusting the washing machine. To get the dirt out of clothes, washing machines use speed to first agitate the clothes and spin the water out of them, a process that takes a toll on the fabric. Fortunately, advanced machines come equipped with washing modes that control speed and water temperature depending on the fabric. While jeans and towels can endure a high-speed tumble and spin action, delicate fabrics like silk need a gentler wash at low speeds. Some machines also have a monsoon mode. This is an India specific mode that gives clothes a hot rinse and spin to reduce drying time during monsoons. A super clean mode will use hot water to clean the clothes deeply.

Washing machines have come a long way, from a wooden drum powered by motor to high-tech machines that come equipped with automatic washing modes. Bosch washing machines include all the above-mentioned features and provide damage free laundry in an energy efficient way. With 32 different washing modes, Bosch washing machines can create custom wash cycles for different types of laundry, be it lightly soiled linens, or stained woollens. The ActiveWater feature in Bosch washing machines senses the laundry load and optimises the usage of water and electricity. Its EcoSilentDrive motor draws energy from a permanent magnet, thereby saving energy and giving a silent wash. The fear of expensive clothes being wringed to shapelessness in a washing machine is a common one. The video below explains how Bosch’s unique VarioDrumTM technology achieves damage free laundry.


To start your search for the perfect washing machine, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Bosch and not by the Scroll editorial team.