Last night my husband and I happened to stumble across one of the most motivating, inspirational films we've seen in a long time. It suddenly appeared on Netflix May 1, 2017 and we were riveted to the television.
The film is Liberating A Continent: John Paul II and the Fall of Communism. Now I tend to be a bit cynical of religious films just because so many are well intentioned, but have no creativity beyond showing pictures, badly shot video and no graphics. I have to eat my words when it came to this one. Current Catholic film makers are learning by leaps and bounds what it takes to capture an audience, especially an audience that is young, and who stops only momentarily to acknowledge information. That audience will not be disappointed by this film.
Liberating A Continent takes you on a quick journey through JPII's life. Now I remember being in my first year of college when he was elected. In fact I still remember working as a student worker in the Admissions office of the college and walking into the office between classes that day and my supervisor looking up at me and saying flatly, "Your pope is dead." She wasn't one for mincing words. I was stunned and when I got home found out more about John Paul I dying only days after being elected. We had watched the Papal Elections on television at home and were thrilled to be able to see the proceedings and the white smoke when Albino Luciani was elected. And now only 33 days later he was dead? We watched at home as the cardinals again got together to elected Karol Wojtyla, an unknown cardinal from Poland. Unknown at least to us Missourians in the United States.
For the next 25 years I loved this Pope who told us young people to "Be not afraid." Turbulent times were the norm in Europe and the Eastern Block. And although we had a few fears about nuclear war and communism growing up, actually it was the violence in our own country in race riots, abortion being made legal and the whole sexual revolution we were nervous about.
John Paul II reassured us as young people, he was reassuring as I became an adult, got married and began having children. He was always looking for ways to connect with the world at large and especially with young people. He was active and engaging and knew how to love the world. He also knew how to work about governments who ignored their people. He reached out to people and made them feel important. He made me feel important and helped me instill that in my own children.
It's worth a watching so look for it online where you can either purchase the DVD or if you have Netlfix or those other streaming versions, it is well worth!
Liberating A Continent: John Paul II and the Fall of Communism
Carl Anderson - Exec. Producer
David Naglieri - writer
Joe Kraemer; music composer
Jim Cavesiel - narrator
George Hosek - director of Photography
Marc Boudignon - Editor
"As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live"