ITALY, POLAND, UK

DA UN PAESE LONTANO From a far country: Pope John Paul II (Z Dalekiego kraju)

1981 – 35mm – colore – 140′

 

Direction: Krzysztof Zanussi

Screenplay: Krzysztof Zanussi, Jan Jozef Szczepanski, Andrzej Kijowski, Vincenzo Labella

Story: Diego Fabbri

Cinematography:Slawomir Idziak, Renata Pajchel

Editing: Antony Gibbs

Music: Wojciech Kilar

Costumes: Anna B. Sheppard, Tomasz Przestepski

Cast: Sam Neill, Christopher Cazenove, Lisa Harrow, Cezary Morawski, Maurice Denham, John Welsh, Jonathan Blake, Kathleen Byron, Warren Clarke, James Coyle, Anne Dyson, John Franklyn-Robbins, Piotr Fronczewski

Producers: Giacomo Pezzali, Vincenzo Labella

Production: Per Trans World Film, Incorporated Television Company (ITC), Rai – Radiotelevisione Italiana, Film Polski Film Agency

 

SYNOPSIS

The story of Pope Wojtyla from the beginning of the war to his election as supreme pontiff. The future John Paul II stays on the background or we just hear his name mentioned by the true protagonists, who have been his friends since school days. One of them becomes a priest. Other two get married.

 

CRITICAL NOTE

“Despite not recognising his own contribution (as an author), Krzysztof Zanussi (“They asked me, I said yes and I worked on it with two other authors, so I cannot say it fully represents me…” he stated in an interview) too combined melodrama and epic in the film/tv series From a Far Country. [The film] offers a radical interpretation of Polish history, that may also be rightly deemed limited and partial, but it is useful to understand the events of that history and the mass behaviour of the Polish people towards the communist regime and the Russians, as well as (as several Italian critics have already noticed) the actions and thought of Pope Wojtyla.” (Gianluigi Bozza, Cineforum no. 207, September 1981)

AWARDS

1981 Mostra di Venezia: Premio OCIC, Menzione Speciale OCIC Award, Special Mention