Ilan Duran Cohen
Cardinal Lustiger, played with great urgency and tenderness by Laurent Lucas, inhabits the raiment of his station with a comfort and dignity that belies its grandiosity and oddity in a secular world populated by women in peasant shirts and men in tight jeans.
Lustiger, whose mother was killed in Auschwitz, buries his father just after meeting Pope John Paul II, trading one paternal Eastern European for another. John Paul and Jean-Marie bond over a shared childhood love of pierogis, but are torn over Poland's attitude toward Auschwitz, and the way it remembers the Holocaust. With playful cinematography that emphasizes light and dark, color and gleam, and occasionally lingers on the panel of a comic book, smoke from a cigarette, or graffiti on a Roman side street, The Jewish Cardinal uses the luscious pleasures of the everyday to underscore and endure the big questions of identity, humanity, and home.