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Vatican

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Shades of Truth: A film that delves into the legacy of Pope Pius XII during the Holocaust

2015-03-03

He is one of the most misunderstood figures of the 20th century. At the heart of his papacy, is whether Pope Pius XII, did enough to save Jews from the Holocaust. 

"I want to start a personal investigation into Pius XII.” 

A film titled 'Shades of Truth,' which was previewed in the Vatican, delves into his life and legacy by combining a story of love, confusion, faith and even fear. The story is about more than just entertainment. 

LIANA MARABINI 
Film Director 
"I met people who knew him. I met people saved by him, I met descendants of people saved by him.”

According to the director, the late Pope saved more than 800,000 Jews. From ordering the opening of parishes and convents as underground shelters to putting the Holy See's diplomatic ties to the test. 
 
"He asked me to attach Portuguese visas to a bunch of passports.” 

Pius XII has often been criticized for not publicly condemning the Holocaust. Doing so, he reportedly feared, would place the lives of even more Jews at risk. But behind the scenes, Pius XII was making things happen. 

LIANA MARABINI 
Film Director 
"So many times, they say, 'no he was wrong, he didn’t speak out loud, even if he saved some Jews but he didn’t speak out loud.' Let me tell you this, I prefer for him to save some Jews, some lives, instead of saying something. I prefer facts against words.” 

GEODON BURKHARD
Actor
"The background, the whole story, the whole history was something I was not aware of, or at least in that shape and form. I just didn’t have all that information, so for one it was a learning experience for me.”

Pius XII's canonization process is currently open. He was declared a Venerable of the Church, which is the first step in the canonization process, back in December 2009 by Benedict XVI. 

The film is also scheduled to be shown in this year's Cannes Film Festival. 


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