The Messenger of the Truth

DVD Release: March 3, 2015
The Messenger of the Truth
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Synopsis

“The Messenger of the Truth” tells the remarkable true story of Catholic priest and human rights activist Father Jerzy Popieluszko whose faith, conviction and courage inspired the people of Poland to stand against the oppressive Communist rule of the 1980s. In his powerful sermons, Father Jerzy spoke about human rights, railed against injustice and tyranny, and advocated for truth and freedom. In 1984 at age 35, he was kidnapped and killed by Polish security police for his beliefs. He is now celebrated internationally, and an estimated 12 million people have visited the church of St. Stanislas in Warsaw where he used to preach against Communist authorities. The process of beatification has begun for Father Jerzy Popieluszko, putting this martyr on the path to sainthood.

Dove Review

“The Messenger of the Truth” is a powerful and compelling documentary about a life that touched a nation. Father Jerzy Popieluszko spoke about freedom and inspired the people of Poland to take a non-violent stand against the oppressive Communist regime of the 1980s.

Despite knowing his life was in danger, he continued to lead Mass and to speak about religious freedom. This film is based on the book “The Priest and the Policeman” by Roger Boyes and John Moody. Father Jerzy saw himself as a defender of the truth and religious liberty, speaking out against the tyranny of censorship.

In the course of the documentary we see video of him leading Mass, preaching, and reaching out with handshakes and hugs to the multitude who flocked to hear him. He spoke to people about their problems, instead of the problems of the church. He prophetically says in one interview that there have always been those who had to defend the faith and risk their lives for their message. The documentary describes various people who were fired from their jobs because of their faith, and many were beaten and even murdered.

We see archived footage of the martial law that was enforced for awhile in Poland. There were those who wanted him to flee, but he felt too strong a sense of loyalty to leave his flock. We see the video reports of Father Jerzy being kidnapped and, sadly, this martyr’s body in a video and photo after being beaten to death. It is briefly shown and not pleasant, but it is not gratuitous.

Martin Sheen narrates this touching documentary, which also features video images of Father Jerzy’s followers crying and heartbroken at the news of his death. Yet a few short years later in 1989, the great communist wall in Berlin was torn down, and in June 2010 Father Jerzy was declared a saint by the Catholic church. This is a moving and inspiring documentary, revealing the power and influence of a life committed to God’s work and God’s people. We are pleased to present this documentary our “Faith-Friendly” Seal for ages twelve plus. And we award this film five Doves, our best rating. You cannot view this film and not be moved.

Content Description

Sex: None
Language: OMG-1.
Violence: Archive footage of military hitting people with batons; water being poured on people; riots; fires; comments about various people who were beaten and murdered; a few images of a man's body that was found beaten.
Drugs: None
Nudity: None
Other: Spies follow people around; it is stated that many had tires slashed and were harassed by the government; talk of long interrogations; death and grief.

Info

Company: Alchemy
Director: Tony Haines
Genre: Documentary
Runtime: 86 min.
Industry Rating: Not Rated
Starring: Narrated by Martin Sheen
Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter