Witness to Hope – The Life of John Paul II

Witness to Hope – The Life of John Paul II

Shaped by the terrors of Nazi-occupied Poland and the subsequent brutalities of the Communist regime, John Paul II became one of the world’s greatest proponents of religious freedom and human rights. With rare historical stills and archival footage, along with new location footage taken in Rome and Poland, this richly textured film traces the personal life and struggles of the first non-Italian pope in over 450 years. Based on George Weigel’s book of the same title, Witness to Hope is a co

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3 Responses to Witness to Hope – The Life of John Paul II

  1. Jeff Jones says:
    81 of 83 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    PERFECTION!, March 30, 2002
    By 
    Jeff Jones (Redlands, California United States) –

    This is the best piece of film on Pope John Paul II (Karol Wojtyla) in history. It is not simply a masterpiece for it’s portrayal of the Holy Father, but it is also a cinematic masterpiece. It looks good, it sounds good, and yes, IT IS good, very, very, good. I cannot talk enough about the beautiful and piercing yet gentle and quiet power of this film. Whether or not you read the book, it doesn’t matter, SEE THIS FILM!

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  2. Alejandra Vernon "artist & illustrator" says:
    73 of 75 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    “poet, philosopher, mystic, pope”, June 4, 2005
    By 
    Alejandra Vernon “artist & illustrator” (Long Beach, California) –
    (VINE VOICE)
      
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    This review is from: Witness to Hope – The Life of John Paul II (DVD)
    Based on the biography by George Weigel, this is an excellent overview of Pope John Paul II’s life. Weigel is interviewed extensively, as well as many who knew John Paul II in Poland, in the church, and those on the world stage who interacted with him because of his enormous influence on international affairs, like former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski.

    The early years have a few reenactments, but are mostly shown with riveting archival footage, some of it from the horrors of the Nazi invasion of 1939, through WWII.

    Then as the Nazis left, the Soviets arrived, and there is a quote saying it felt like “losing the same war twice”, as Stalin’s fist of iron bore down on the Polish people.

    John Paul II was born in 1920 and had much tragedy as a child, losing his mother when he was 9, and his older brother three years later. Handsome and athletic (with looks that remind me of Lawrence Olivier), he was a poet and actor, worked in a quarry, and then joined an underground seminary. It is a life so full of important events, that this documentary moves fast to include them all.

    There is marvelous footage of his triumphant return to Poland as pope for the first time, which spread the seeds of freedom and the Solidarity Movement of the workers in Poland. Also covered are the assassination attempt, and how his views sometimes clashed with the ideology of the secular world.

    Written and directed by Judith Dwan Hallet, with narration by Rene Auberjonois, and music by Fred Karns, this is good way to quickly familiarize oneself with the life of this saintly man who was “called to a greater love”.

    Total running time is 2 hours.

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  3. Marcia L. Dietrich says:
    39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Fantastic., June 3, 2002
    By 
    Marcia L. Dietrich (Leavenworth, KS USA) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    Though I knew much of the story of Pope John Paul II’s life this film brings it all together in a powerful and personal way. I’d recommend this for anyone. The history, the struggle for religious freedom, the perserverence by faith. This is better than 99% of what Hollywood produces, yet a true story and an inspiration for us all.

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