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From a Far Country (1981) - Plot Summary Poster

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Summaries

  • The film is a biography of Pope John Paul II. It starts in 1926 when the boy Karol Wojtyla was celebrating Christmas with his father in Poland. Thirteen years later, Nazi Germany attacks Poland, starting World War II and invades the country while Wojtyla seeks refuge at the house of Cardinal Wyszynski. Also appearing are all the other important stations of the life of the Pope, during and after World War II.

  • The movie shows the life of Pope John Paul II and the reality of the Poland he grew up in. The action starts in 1926 when 6 year-old Karol Wojtyla takes part in the Way of the Cross with his father on Good Friday in Kalwaria Sanctuary near Wadowice. In 1939, Nazi Germany invades the country and persecutes the Polish elites, Jews, and the Church. A lot of people are taken to Auschwitz where except for the Jews, Saint Maximilian Kolbe sacrifices his life for one man who had a family and dreamed to see them once again. Karol changes his plans, gives up the idea of being an actor, and in 1940s enters the hidden seminary. After WWII, Poland experiences the Communist regime. There are some fictitious characters in the movie that show the reality and world view of the people of that time, some influenced by the Communist atheism and "modernity" and some others retaining their faith and their dignity of God's children. Karol achieves a high position in the Catholic church being a priest from 1946, a bishop from 1958 and cardinal from 1967, but he never leaves his people. Wojtyla is the dearest friend of the youth, of those who are lost in this complicated world full of various misleading ideas as well as the religious ones. His experience of his nation's suffering leads him to Rome in 1978 where Christ's words "Tu es Petrus" are addressed to him. He visits Poland once again, this time as Pope in 1979, but he comes to his homeland to say "good bye".


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