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‘Solidarity priest’ Popiełuszko through American eyes

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 21.03.2012 11:09
‘Father of Freedom’ is the title of a full-length documentary about the life and martyrdom of Poland’s Solidarity priest Jerzy Popiełuszko, currently in production.


The film is a US project by Digital Video Arts and according to producer Paul Hensler and director Tony Haines, the story of Father Popiełuszko, murdered by communist secret police in 1984,remains relatively unknown outside Poland.

The production team have already filmed many interviews for the documentary in Poland, including those with Stanislaw Cardinal Dziwisz, who served as secretary to Pope John Paul II for many years, and Katarzyna Soborak, who worked closely with Father Popiełuszko and is now head of a Warsaw-based documentation centre devoted to his pastoral activity.

The production team has also worked in Rome and the Vatican.

The film is to be completed in October, the 28th anniversary of the priest’s murder. Premiere screenings are planned in the United States, Warsaw, Kraków and Rome. Tony Hensler intends to organize a special showing for Pope Benedict XVI.

Father Jerzy Popiełuszko was the best known of the many outspoken priests who identified themselves with the Solidarity movement in 1980. After the imposition of martial law, he organized material aid for the families of the interned Solidarity activists. On October 19, 1984 he was abducted, tortured and murdered by communist secret police SB officers.

Eleven days later his bound and gagged body was dredged from a Vistula River reservoir. Some 800, 000 people and 1, 000 priests attended his funeral on 3 November, 1984.

Following his beatification on 6 June, 2010, October 19 is dedicated in the Polish Church as a day of liturgical remembrance of the martyr of the universal church. (mk/pg)

tags: Popiełuszko
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