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‘Auschwitz Saint’ film premiered in Vatican

PR dla Zagranicy
Victoria Bieniek 27.09.2017 08:30
A Polish docudrama following the life of Maksymilian Kolbe, who offered to die in place of a fellow prisoner at the Auschwitz Nazi German concentration camp, has been presented at the Vatican.
Maximilian Kolbe. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.Maximilian Kolbe. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Entitled “Two Crowns”, the film's director, Michał Kondrat, said before the screening that while the circumstances surrounding Father Kolbe’s martyrdom are widely known, his entire life is like a ready-made film script.

Kondrat added that he hoped his film would help make the saint’s life better known in many countries.

The film shows the Franciscan monk's formative years as well as his activities as a journalist and missionary in Japan, China and India. It features many testimonies, both by the clergy and laymen, including the one from Kazimierz Piechowski, who was imprisoned at Auschwitz with Kolbe.

Adam Woronowicz, who portrays Father Kolbe in the film, also attended the screening.

“Two Crowns” was shot in Poland, Italy and Japan. Its international premiere was held during the Cannes Film Festival in May. It goes on general release in Poland on 13 October.

Kolbe became an Auschwitz prisoner on 28 May, 1941. He offered to take the place of a man randomly selected to receive the death penalty with nine others in retribution for the escape of three prisoners. He spent two weeks without bread and water in the camp’s starvation bunker, before being given a lethal injection on 14 August, 1941.

The man he saved, Franciszek Gajowniczek, survived the war. He died in 1995.

Father Kolbe was canonised in 1982 by Pope John Paul II. (mk/vb)

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