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Life & Times of Pope John Paul II
Life Times of Pope John Paul II
Actors: Pope John Paul II, Lech Walesa, Mikhail Gorbachev, Henry Kissinger
Director: Terence McKenna
Genres: Drama, Special Interests, Documentary
NR     2007     3hr 0min

This revealing and controversial three-hour documentary features interviews with Mikhail Gorbachev, Henry Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski. It provides a behind-the-scenes look at the Pope?s surprising role in the power poli...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: Pope John Paul II, Lech Walesa, Mikhail Gorbachev, Henry Kissinger
Director: Terence McKenna
Genres: Drama, Special Interests, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Religion, Religion & Spirituality, Biography
Studio: Imavision
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 04/02/2007
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 3hr 0min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 1
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English, Spanish
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

It Only Makes Pope John Paul II's Legacy Stronger
K. Fontenot | The Bayou State | 04/12/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"In a world full of men and women intent on building their own legacies by bending and compromising themselves for popularity(i.e. Bill AND Hilary Clinton, John Kerry, basically ninety-five percent of all Democrats running for office these days), Pope John Paul II stands as a pillar of non-conformity and faith. The first two installments of this DVD, "Life Story" and "The Pope And His Role In The Fall Of Communism," show how a man of modest and often depressing beginnings can put his full faith in the Lord he loves and know that everything will turn out great in the hereafter. The Pontiff is shown as a caring man who reached out to the youth of Poland and became a real role model for all of them. It also shows how the Pope used his role in society to help demolish communism....without firing a shot. With Ronald Reagan(and Margaret Thatcher, though she isn't given any recognition in this documentary), the Pope tackled communism and made it crumble under its own weight. These first two volumes also show how the Pope reached out not only to his flock, but to the world as a whole.

The third volume of this DVD seems to be the one sore spot for most viewers. Depending on your beliefs, you will either love or hate this volume...unless you look at it in this way. Many people say that this volume shows the Pontiff as a cruel dictator, as witnessed in his use of Cardinal Ratzinger in order to "eliminate" potential problems. In my eyes, it shows how the Pope refused to compromise his faith and the Church to please some of these problematic members of society. Some of those potential problems are featured prominently on this third installment, most notably Sister Theresa Kane and Charles Curran. Perhaps in appearing on this DVD, these people only strengthened the cause of John Paul II indirectly. Kane calls for the ordination of women as priests in the Church. To this, the Pope answered with a firm "No." Being a relatively new Catholic, I have no problem with this. As a matter of fact, I wouldn't have had a problem with this when I was a Baptist, because any good Christian man or woman should know a woman's role in the Church, no matter how archaic or "mean" it may come across as. It's all there in the Bible for those who want to know(I think 1 Corinthians 14:34 drives home the point). Is this chauvinistic? Is it discriminating towards women? Not if you are a believer, because God's will is God's will, and that's not something that you can break. Curran believed that the Pope should have complied with more "liberal" thinkers about abortion, homosexuality, birth control, etc. For believers, there should be no argument on these topics, for each is handled in the Bible and, for Catholics, the Catechism as well. Curran eluded to the thought that the Pope was a dictator. Well, he is the Vicar of Christ. That should mean something to Catholics. In some ways he is a dictator, because the Church is not a democracy, God runs the show, and there's no arguing with Him. The Pope is merely expressing the beliefs of the Church and of God in all of these matters.

This made me proud of the fact that I became a Catholic during the papacy of a man so strong and uncompromising in his faith. He didn't "change" God's will to cater to a few people who believed that the Church was too stubborn. Instead, he solidified the truths and Tradition of the Church by living it everyday and calling all others to do the same.

So, watch this DVD to learn things you might not have learned about the Holy Father. To paraphrase Francis Cardinal Arinze, it was the people who changed, not the Pope. To me, no matter how negative the third installment of this disc may seem, the Pope's unwavering faith shines through. Let the liberals have their fifteen minutes of fame, because they're getting their reward now, not in the afterlife.

Thanks for reading this review. I probably got a little preachy, but I think some things needed to be cleared up."
Terrible hatchet job.
Anthony Vogrincic | Edmonton, Alberta, Canada | 06/16/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)

"This DVD is a copy of an original program that was shown on CBC television about a year and a half ago. Frankly, the "documentary" was nothing more than a hatchet job. The same old tired players (read dissidents) are trodded out as mouthpieces for those who can't stomach what the Pope has to say. The CBC received a lot of flack from viewers when it showed this program. Even for a liberal media, the slant in this production was shameful. Save yourself some hard earned money and look for something a lot more decent."
Dissapointing documental
javier zambrano | Nuevo León, Mty MX | 04/01/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)

"This film, specially the third disc, is dissapointing. I thought it would be something based on true facts, but instead of saying the things as they were, the information is manipulated and combined with opinions of people that are out and against the Catholic Church and there are quite few opinions that come from people that are in favor of the principles and doctrine of the Catholic Church, I really think that this film was made to create confusion within the faithful catholics. Spend your money in something worthy."
BG | CA | 04/08/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Well done and informative. Loved the interviews with Gorbachev & Kissinger. THe behind the scenes look at the fall of communism and the Pope's role was interesting. Also was amazed at the relationship that the Pope had with the Reagan administration. Overall, I would say this was well worth my time and money."