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75 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceedingly Good Production with a Feel for the Authentic
Watched this on German TV the past two nights - excellent ! An Italian-Polish-French-German production costing 20 million Euros well-spent.
The opening in Krakow as the Nazi invasion turns the world upside down and those around Wojtyla are dispersed or dead, some to re-emerge, others to live on only in his thoughts; is graphic.
What develops is the enormous...
Published on 28 Mar. 2006 by Black Prince

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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An excellent story
The story protrayed in this film is excellent. It sheds light on a person so important to faith and history. While I am facsinated with the content itself, some parts of the film let it down. Mainly due to the poor quality graphics and some poor acting (and scriptwriting I might add) in areas mean this film shall not be remembered for its literary merit - which is why I...
Published on 23 Nov. 2006 by S. Davies


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75 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceedingly Good Production with a Feel for the Authentic, 28 Mar. 2006
This review is from: Karol - A Man Who Became Pope [DVD] (DVD)
Watched this on German TV the past two nights - excellent ! An Italian-Polish-French-German production costing 20 million Euros well-spent.
The opening in Krakow as the Nazi invasion turns the world upside down and those around Wojtyla are dispersed or dead, some to re-emerge, others to live on only in his thoughts; is graphic.
What develops is the enormous depth of experience which made this Polish Pontiff so much more resonant with the peoples of the world than any Vatican bureaucrat of previous eras. It also renders the elevation of his friend Josef Ratzinger to be his successor a brilliant series of events for the Roman Catholic Church. The experience of Poland in suffering the ravages of Nazism and its eradication of Polish Culture and Jewish heritage followed by the stultifying montony and atheistic sterility of Sovietised Communism, made the steadfastness of Karol Wojtyla the very essence of John Bunyan's Mr Standfast.
This was a man of enormous resolve and mental capacity, a man of learning and a man of sporting action, yet a man who by his living, his surviving assassination, and the manner of his dying days; showed enormous courage and faith and is a man to be admired as so very few can be for his great example.
The acting was very, very good; and the juxtaposition of a resolute Church faced with the secular tyranny seeking to enslave and extirpate all resistance was a brilliant counterpoint in the film. The Cross of Nowy Huta was fantastic as a symbol, and symbolic of the cracking of the rigid frame of Europe's second totalitarian dictatorship of the Twentieth Century.
Reading the later books of Pope John Paul II - the very last series of essays - conceptualises this experience perfectly. In Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI the Church of Rome has revitalised itself with the accumulated experiences of two theologians who themselves experienced at first hand the brutality of Europe's most destructive war and its wholesale destruction of people rendered anonymous by sheer numbers of industrialised extermination. These two men carry a depth of experience which has enriched the Church of Rome, of which I am not an adherent.I find the film inspires awe of Karol Wojtyla, and that is what I feel is his due: a man who became great through harnessing his experiences to the common good and his strength of character to his strength of faith.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing film, 21 May 2007
By 
Ms. EA Byrne "Noble-reader" (London, Uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Karol - A Man Who Became Pope [DVD] (DVD)
This film is a beautiful, moving tribute to a man who taught love and practiced what he preached. I think it is wonderfully acted by the title roles. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Pope Benedict himself gave it a favourable review but you don't need to be Catholic, Christian or even religious to recognise the goodness of JPII and see the gift he had with people- especially youth.

This film captures the essence of who Karol was and what motivated him in a time of oppression and fear. It puts the message of John Paul's papacy 'DO NOT BE AFRAID' into a new light when you see how hard he must have struggled not to let fear conquer him in his life.

There is a second part to this production- 'KAROL; THE POPE, THE MAN' in which the actors reprise their roles Piotr Adamczyk is utterly superb in portraying the Pope to the point of his death. This young actor really does deserve praise. The second part is only available through Amazon Canada but if you have a multi region DVD player then it is worth ordering. It is done with the same sensitivity and a higher level of accuracy that 'A Man Who Became Pope'. Together these are truly great films that inspire and uplift like the man himself.

I hope as many people as possible get the chance to enjoy them
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The inspiring life story of Karol Wojtyla, 6 Sept. 2010
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This review is from: Karol - A Man Who Became Pope [DVD] (DVD)
Pope John Paul II is probably the most famous Pole in recent history. Before he was Pope John Paul II, he was Karol Wojtyla. Before he became the Pope, he was an actor, poet, teacher, and priest. "Karol: A Man who Became Pope" traces his personal history from the early days of the second world war up until the time he becomes the Pope. His life story is an interesting and inspirational.

The movie begins with a young Karol at the start of World War II, we get to see a close up look at the brutal German invasion of Krakow and how Karol managed to lived though it. The arrival and occupation of the city must have been a traumatic experience, and we get to see the death and destruction the Nazis brought from the perspective of Karol and his friends. Events in the war influenced Karol and made him decide to become a priest so he could help others.

With the end of the war, Poland did not have an easy time, as now the Russians controlled Poland. Priests were a persecuted group as the communists were atheists. A spy was placed to watch Wojtyla as he was deemed to be a threat to communism. We get to see the future Pope develop as a person and spiritually, as he touches the lives of so many people. It was incredible to watch how all of this unfolded.

There are several messages in the film. One theme is life and death, as Karol sees others suffer and even die; yet he does not loose his faith. He remains hopeful and strong in situations where others would give up. This brings us to the other major themes of the movie: faith and love. He never lost his faith in a better future. We also see how love can triumph over hate. Love can pave the way to a better future, and whatever banner hate has, it will not triumph over love.

"Karol: A Man who Became Pope" shows us the amazing story of how Karol Wojtyla persevered from Nazi to communist persecution, detailing the incredible story of an amazing man. It was a reminder to me that hope and faith should not be abandoned in bad times; in fact, they are most needed then. I highly enjoyed this inspirational and touching film.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb biopic of John Paull II, 13 Oct. 2009
By 
John Cahill - See all my reviews
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Produced for television in four parts this film powerfully unfolds the epic drama of the life of one of the great figures of modern history The first part presents the wartime experiences of the young Karol Woytila struggling to come to terms with the calling of God amidst the horror of Nazi occupied Poland. Opting to involve himself in the underground cultural subversion rather that the futile violent resistence he faces great dangers and suffers the loss of close friends. The conviction that only truth and love can ultimately overcome the evils of violence and hatred becomes indelibly impressed on his mind and shape his outlook for the rest of his life. By the end of the war one third of the Polish clergy had been wiped out by the Nazi regime and Karol joins the depleted ranks to face the new challange of Stalinist oppression. The second part of the film takes us from the beginning of the Communist epoch in Poland to Woytila's election as Pope John Paul II. As a young lecturer in the only free Catholic University tolerated by the regime he exercises a powerful influence over the hearts and minds of his young students. In recognition of his outstanding work in this capacity he is appointed as a bishop where he continues to struggle on behalf of the people against the oppressive authorities. The third part of h film recounts the early years of the pontificate of John Paul II, travelling the world preaching peace and justice for all. The drama of the assassination attemtp on hsi life and his part in the final decline of the Soviet empire provides a large part of the story. The final episode portrays his declining health and long struggle with illness leading to his death. The quality of the acting and screneplay are exceptional. Much of the content of the film is harrowing yet at the same deeply moving and inspiring. Why hasn't this movie been shown on uk television? Why are parts three and four only available in region one?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A TOUCHING AND INSPIRING STORY OF JOHN PAULII, 17 Sept. 2010
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This review is from: Karol - A Man Who Became Pope [DVD] (DVD)
I read most of the reviews of this T.V. movie, some of which were not very favourable and wondered what all the fuss was about.
So when It turned up on television in my part of the world, several years after it was made, I sat down and looked at it.
I am told it was made on a budget of $20 million dollars. The main cast which consisted of Polish actors.It told the the story of John Paul II as a student in Poland during World War II under the Nazi regime and his eventual rise to become Pope in 1978. The movie is three hours long and most of the story takes place in Poland during the war, the joining of the priesthood and becoming Pope comes much later in the film.
Well all I can say is 'what a great story'! some have said you would need to be a Roman Catholic to be interested in its theme - RUBBISH, the movie would appeal to all denominations and all members of the family if you are interested in that era of history at all.
Yes, it has its flaws in production and it certainly is no 'Gone With The Wind' but boring it is not, the three hours for me just flew by as I was glued to my seat. I have often gone to the cinema and forked out good cash based on professional reviews and came away feeling I had been Ripped off. Not so with this little movie, it was a treat.This movie has it all Intrigue, Betrayal, Suspense and even Romance.
I was delighted when I heard that the actors were recalled to reprise their roles for Karol,THE POPE THE MAN which takes us through his Papacy and eventual death. this movie coming in again at three hours was the icing on the cake. So there you have it. I have ordered my copies of these films through Amazon, and I can't wait !
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Insight, 30 Aug. 2010
By 
C M Cotton "Chris Cotton" (Europe and USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Karol - A Man Who Became Pope [DVD] (DVD)
I bought this film as I wished to know more about Pope John Paul 2nd. In 1993 to 1995 I lived in Lublin, Poland, where the Karol once worked. Many people spoke with great affection about the man, who would one day become Pope. Seeing this film on DVD I was intrigued with who and what made this man.

The film is 3 hours long. It is a great biopic of the man, but I feel it dwells too much on his early life in the war. Over 1 hour is spent on this period and only 10 minutes on him becoming Pope. I would have liked a little more about his Papal election. This election was controversial, yet is passed over very quickly. There is no analysis of why he was chosen or the Geo Political earthquake his election help create. I also think some more analysis of the time he was Arch Bishop of Nova Hoota would have been appropriate. For many Poles the period he spent negotiating and building this Church against State opposition is what made him a legend in Poland, long before he was elected Pope.

It is also obvious that this is a made for TV film, and does suffer from some very poor special effects.

If you accept the short comings of this film and just enjoy learning something about this GREAT man, then the film is worth watching. With better editing and some greater focus on the two highlighted areas, I feel it would have warranted 5 stars.

Great film, but lacks some focus in two important areas.
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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 26 Nov. 2005
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This review is from: Karol - A Man Who Became Pope [DVD] (DVD)
This is an excellent account of the life of Karol Woytyla, latterly Pope John Paul II. Gripping coverage. Even though it's very long at 3 hours, our attention was held throughout. Polish acting & direction much improved & of a high enough standard to be very watchable by critical 'western' standards. Much of the filming is on location & as such is very authentic. Highly recommended.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars love the choice too few take, 27 Mar. 2008
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This review is from: Karol - A Man Who Became Pope [DVD] (DVD)
This film is probably the most profound and remarkable piece of art I have had the priveledge to experience.It truly touched my soul, words cannot do it justice, suffice to say the impact it has had on my life and those I have passed it onto has been of a truly trancendent nature.It is with sincere grattitude I write these words to all those involved in the film ,I applaud you all,but mostly my love and thanks go to John Paul 2nd who was and is the personification of all that love is and can be,for me this film shows that those who open themselves selflessly to Gods love can achieve miracles,there is no doubt what happens when one is assisted,it is the draw to live a life of purpose greater than ourselves, its for everyone. God bless
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars inspiring film about an incredible man, 4 Dec. 2008
By 
Miss O. Davies "stokie Ol" (staffordshire England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Karol - A Man Who Became Pope [DVD] (DVD)
Watching this film about Pope John Paul gave a great insight to his earlier life. I was captivated through out.It showed the horrenedous atrocites of the occupation during the 2nd world war and how this man and his friends did make a difference. The intrigue of the communist hold on the country was well portrayed, yet nothing could dampen the Polish spirit and the strong faith they held in their country and God.
This is a film you watch over and over again,and deserves the rating of 5 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The full horror of the Nazi regime in Poland.A profound and deeply moving film,that will stay in your heart forever.., 1 Mar. 2014
By 
Mrs. D. Surrey "Castell" (Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Karol - A Man Who Became Pope [DVD] (DVD)
This epic and deeply profound film shows the full horror of life under the Nazis when they invaded Poland.Of course it is centred around Pope John Paul,as a young man called Karol,who witnessed the Polish Holocaust.

The film hides nothing.We are shown brutality and cruelty at it's very worst,almost as if the Nazi regime were in the clutches of a madness that would not let go.The people were driven from their homes like herded animals.They were gunned down,mercilessly beaten,starved to death - no one was excluded,all children included.

Through it all we see the untold bravery of the resistance fighters.The Cathedral Priest who tried his best to shield his flock,even to his end.It was this priest who stayed in the heart and mind of the young Karol,and it was this priest who told him that God would call him to serve Him.

There was a very moving story running alongside the main story.It was one Nazi Officer who,full of compassion,showed mercy to the polish people time and time again.Eventually,in the presence of his superior officer,he tore off his Nazi badge of shame,and by doing so he suffered the full horror of the German firing squad.The last rites were given by the Cathedral priest,and the words of the dying man were extremely moving.It was here that the priest was also gunned down by the same Nazis,and died near to the German martyr.

This film needs to be watched many times,and, like a good book,you will not tire of it.We all knew that Pope John Paul was a Pole,but so many of us,myself included did not know of the terrible tragedy that he lived through - when a German nation that was cultured and educated and Christian,destroyed itself by becoming a vile killing machine that knew no mercy only the way of death.
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Karol - A Man Who Became Pope [DVD]
Karol - A Man Who Became Pope [DVD] by Giacomo Battiato (DVD - 2005)
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