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Review:Karol: A Man Who Became Pope
- Relevance to exotic energy technologies... As Karol faced two brutal tyrannies, certain exotic emerging technologies also face oppression and have been bullied, sometimes for more than a century. The stance Karol took of persistent love and courage can be instructive and helpful for us as we face down those who resist these solutions.
Movie Review by Sterling D. Allan
Pure Energy Systems News, CEO
August 24, 2008
Being largely unfamiliar with Pope John Paul II (Karol), who passed away in 2005, I am unable to comment on whether or not the portrayal in the film, Karol: A Man Who Became Pope, holds true to real life, but I will say that the person and circumstances portrayed in the film deeply moved me. The following review is based on the movie alone.
Surviving Two Successive Tyranies in Poland
I was aware that Pope John Paul II had come from Poland, and that this had been an unusual development in Catholic history, but it had not occurred to me that this signified that he had survived both the Nazi and Communist occupations of that country. How he handled those situations was impressive.
Karol was radical in a Gandhi-like way -- very outspoken and brave when it came to civil disobedience and non-violently opposing hate-rooted, radically oppressive tyrannies. According to the film, Karol did not resort to arms as did many of his friends and associates, despite being of military age during the Nazi occupation. Instead, he chose to enter the "priesthood", even though he was deeply in mutual-love with a woman at the time.
His primary motivation for promoting love as the best and ultimate solution in a hate-filled world, was that if hate was used to fight hate, then the Nazi occupation would only be followed by yet another hate-rooted occupation. This is what happened with the Communist occupation that came immediately following Poland's liberation from the Nazis by the Russians.
Roughly half the film is set in the Nazi occupation context, and the other half is set during Communist occupation that followed. The film depicts what it was like for a Polish civilian with a conscience during these back-to-back tyrannies from the perspective of one who was not Jewish, but who was sympathetic to the plight that the Jews faced.
I'm not sure why, but the film affected me more deeply than any WWII movie I've previously seen. I relate more to Karol's non-violence approach than I do to the hero-soldier approach depicted by most films (which I also respect). I also relate to his fearless attitude toward the Communist authorities, which disarmed them from having any control over him, and actually forged a mutual respect as a fellow human being, rather than pitting one against the other as mortal enemies.
One of my favorite lines from the movie was when the Communist leader who had been spying on Karol said, "If they stop fearing us then we loose our control over them."
I also liked that Karol was far more humble than most religious authorities usually are, though I still was not impressed by the gaudy apparel he had to don as part of his role. At least you could tell that it wasn't important to him.
Dream About Defense via Love
Perhaps the reason I can relate to the non-violence aspect portrayed by Karol in this film is because of a dream I had about a decade ago. In the dream, I was in the middle of a futuristic attack on America in which foreign forces were on the ground, going from place to place.
I had a rifle, and I surprised an enemy combatant who had entered my premises. I had the rifle pointed at the combatant's forehead, at point-blank range. He stood there, frozen in place, knowing that I had the upper hand.
However, instead of pulling the trigger, I let the weapon down, and I said, with love, "I'm not going to shoot you."
He immediately raised his pistol, pointed it at me, and pulled the trigger. Click. No bullet fired. Click. Again, no bullet fired. Click. Three times in rapid succession.
Seeing that he had no power over me, he turned and ran from the premises in great fear.
I was protected, not by my gun, but by love.
That dream had a deep impact on me, and it is one of the reasons I do what I do without fear, while many in the field of exotic energy technology operate in a mode of tremendous paranoia about the forces that could be brought to bear against them.
We are here to help the planet, with destiny on our side.
To Get The Film
- Netflix - The Netflix version I watched was done with English voice-overs. I didn't even realize it until preparing this review and seeng an excerpt of the original film with English subtitles.
- Netflix Description
- Polish actor Piotr Adamczyk portrays Karol Wojtyla -- aka Pope John Paul II -- in this two-part miniseries that aired just weeks after the pontiff's death in 2005. Filmed on location in Poland and the Vatican, this inspirational biopic follows Wojtyla from his early years as a university student who witnessed the Nazi invasion of Crakow in 1939 to his surprise election as one of the youngest popes on record some 40 years later.
- Piotr Adamczyk, Malgosia Bela, Ken Duken, Hristo Shopov, Ennio Fantastichini
- Giacomo Battiato
- Color, DVD-Video, Subtitled, NTSC
- English, Spanish
- English, in a few portions
- NR (est. PG-13 - R for intensity of content, violence)
- Universal Studios
- DVD Release Date
- March 28, 2006
- Run Time
- 187 minutes (3 hr; 7 min)
Note: The Netflix version I watched was done with English voice-overs. I didn't even realize it until preparing this review and seeng an excerpt of the original film with English subtitles. -- Sterling D. Allan
- Karol, a man become pope. - Part 1 of 5 - (YouTube; February 23, 2007)
Remaning 5 parts on YouTube
- TRAILER KAROL - Trailer of KAROL, film that relates the life of the Pope Juan Pablo II. Produced by Fix Communication (YouTube; March 31, 2008)