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New documentary offers new perspective on John Paul II

Even before becoming a saint, Pope John Paul II was incredibly popular around the world. 

Now, Polish journalist Paulina Guzik explores the roots of this popularity. Her documentary on John Paul II dives into his philosophical thought and his theology of the body, showing their continued impact on people today.

Director of “I Like to See the Sunrise”
“Many months before I had this idea of producing this movie, George Weigel told me that we, the Poles, have to remember, at the centenary of John Paul II, that the pope is not only the emotional pope, the pope that we love so much as Poles, but that we need to show the pope who is a great thinker, a great humanist, a great philosopher, theologian of the body, the great communicator and the great inspirator, and this is “I Like to See the Sunrise.”

The documentary aims to give the audience an understanding of John Paul II's thinking and teachings, which are often overlooked because of his iconic image.

Pontifical University of John Paul II (Krakow)
“In some wonderful plans of God's providence, Karol Wojtyła, John Paul II, thanks to the help of God's grace, everything we do in 10, maybe 20 or 30 percent, he managed to live 100 percent. He did this in some human divine life, and this is the miracle of John Paul II. We call it holiness.”

The film includes original, less known footage and photos of John Paul II. It also draws upon the knowledge of a number of people familiar with his life, including his biographer, George Weigel, and his personal secretary, Card. Stanislaw Dziwisz.

Personal Secretary of Pope John Paul II
“It is not fiction. It is a documentary, and that is why this film is a message, with the authenticity of the testimonies, but above all, with quotes of the Holy Father himself. Those quotes are bringing tears. They settle in our memory, and it's good that those films are produced.”

Producers are hoping the documentary will have an impact not only in Poland, but around the world. Preparations for the U.S. premiere event, initially planned for May 2020, have been suspended due to the coronavirus. Nonetheless, producers are still hoping to release the film to the wider television audience in North America.