VATICAN CITY, MAY 17, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI will attend a special showing of “Karol, A Man Who Became Pope” in the Paul VI Hall the day after John Paul II’s birthday.
Those organizing the event confirmed to ZENIT that it was Benedict XVI himself who suggested the screening May 19, one day after his predecessor would have turned 85. He will probably say a few words at the end.
The TV miniseries was shown April 14 in Paul VI Hall, but Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was unable to attend.
The miniseries, that explains how Karol Wojtyla’s Polish past prepared him to become John Paul II, was broadcast April 18-19 in Italy, and is based on a work by journalist Gianfranco Svidercoschi, a friend of John Paul II’s. The miniseries was reportedly the most watched show on Italian television last month.
The film is based on a book written by Gian Franco Sviderscoschi entitled “Karol’s Story.” Directed by Giacomo Battiato, the role of Karol Wojtyla is played by Polish actor Piotr Adamczyc.
Svidercoschi, who collaborated with John Paul II in the writing of the book “Gift and Mystery,” told ZENIT that at present the producers are working on Part II of the series, which will address the more than 26 years of John Paul II’s pontificate.
The first episode of part II will focus on Pope Wojtyla’s action in face of communism, while the second episode will address challenges such as consumerism, threats to life, young people, etc.
The producers, Universal Pictures Italy and Taoduefilm, will give Benedict XVI a DVD of the series. The proceeds made by the film will go in part to Caritas-Italy to finance a project of reception and integration of abandoned Rwandan adolescents.