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.