New John Paul II Film Coming to DVD

Premiered in United States, Soon in Poland, Rome

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WASHINGTON, D.C., APRIL 27, 2010 ( A new film featuring John Paul II’s historic 1979 visit to Poland, which was hailed as the beginning of the fall of the Iron Curtain, will be released Monday on DVD.

Newt Gingrich, former U.S. speaker of the house and a convert to Catholicism, produced the film, «Nine Days That Changed the World,» with his wife, Callista.

The movie tells the story of the Holy Father’s June 2-10, 1979, visit to his homeland after becoming Pope.

It premiered April 9 in Mount Vernon, Virginia, and since then has also been shown to audiences at the Catholic University of America and Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and Ave Maria School of Law in Naples, Florida. 

A press release from Gingrich Productions, which worked on the film together with Citizens United Productions and Peace River Company, stated that this nine-day visit of the Pontiff «created a revolution of conscience that transformed Poland and fundamentally reshaped the spiritual and political landscape of the 20th century.»

The film explores «what transpired during these nine days that moved the Polish people to renew their hearts, reclaim their courage, and free themselves from the shackles of Communism.»

It will be premiered June 8 in Krakow, Poland. On June 12, the Rome premiere will be held at the Pontifical North American College.

The communiqué states that the film is a «story of human liberation, revealing the extraordinary power of Pope John Paul II’s worldwide message of freedom through faith.»


The documentary features exclusive interviews with George Weigel, Michael Novak, John O’Sullivan, Jerzy Kluger, Father Adam Boniecki, Father Leon Knabit, Monsignor Jaroslaw Cielecki, Father Jan Andrzej Kloczowski, Father Thomas Williams, Father Wojciech Giertych, President Lech Walesa, President Vaclav Havel, Polish Free Trade Union Leaders Krzysztof Wyszkowski and Anna Walentynowicz, Former Director of Central Intelligence James Woolsey, and Secretary Jim Nicholson.

Anna Walentynowicz was one of the victims of the April 10 plane crash that claimed the lives of the Polish president, Lech Kaczynski, his wife, Maria, and some 95 others.

On that occasion, the Gingrich’s stated: «We especially remember today the life of Anna Walentynowicz, whose moral courage in the face of tyranny during the Gdansk shipyard strike of August 1980 changed the course of history and helped liberate her country from a communist dictatorship.»

The couple recalled that «nearly one year ago, President Kaczynski, his wife Maria, Polish military leaders, the Archbishop of Warsaw, and thousands of Polish citizens gathered to dedicate a 30-foot cross in Warsaw’s Pilsudski Square to remember the 1979 pilgrimage to their homeland of their fellow Pole, Pope John Paul II.»

«Upon unveiling the memorial cross,» the statement continued, «this recording of Pope John Paul II’s was played: ‘Today, I look at the whole of Poland. From the Tatra Mountains to the Baltic Sea and this Cross says to whole of Poland, sursum corda, lift up your hearts.'»

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