Vatican screens new documentary on bond between John Paul II and Ronald Reagan

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A pope and U.S. president, united together by an incredible bond, that helps shake communism all together. This is what St. John Paul II and Ronald Reagan had, a faith that transcended the political stage to delve into the hearts of men. It is displayed in a new Robert Orlando directed film, The Divine Plan. 

Director, The Divine Plan
“Through the assassination attempts, I think they found a common mission and a bond that made them uniquely relate that probaly they otherwise would not have. I think the common mission was they had both experienced the iron hand of communism. They have both been children of World War II, they had suffered to some degree almost died together. I think they're both men of faith. So I think those combinations of things has galvanized that mission.”

Inspired by Paul Kengor's book, “A Pope and a President,” the documentary expands this connection between the two. The film's screening took place Nov. 6 in 700 theaters in the United States. Then the director and executive producer came to the Vatican to show it.

Director, The Divine Plan
“It was incredibly touching because the response to people was like wow, like I think we need this story at this time. It was like a cultural phenomena they will recognize it was hitting a nerve.”

Executive Producer, The Divine Plan
“But the movie is... every time I see it, I get tingles, I get a tear in my eye, because I think it really tells a very important story that needs to be shared. “

It screenings were on the same week as the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, which coincidentally marked the beginning of the fall of communism, which both Ronald Reagan and John Paul II fought. 

Director, The Divine Plan
“We're going to say that the anniversary is part of 'the divine plan,' by the way. It's has timed out perfectly with the release of the film. I think what was missed on these two characters that I captured, that others even the scholars said was unique, was remembering they were both former actors. So both as actors bringing what they knew as actors to the world stage, to the political, religious stage was so powerful that I think they were able to demonstrate value, have a presence and connect with massive audiences in a way others couldn't.”

Their bond, similaries and connection as two world leaders will be released on DVD in early December and will be shown later on Netflix and Amazon Prime. 

Melissa Butz

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