New documentary educates young people on little-known part of Catholic history


The screening of a new movie about the story of President Ronald Reagan working with St. John Paul II drew a crowd to the Anathan Theater Sunday evening. 

“The Divine Plan” is a documentary which presents the story of the relationship between Reagan and John Paul and how these two world leaders — president and pope — joined forces to overcome communism in the 1980s. 

Present at the screening were the director of the film and the author of the book on which the movie was based. Following the viewing, they held a panel discussion during which they answered questions from the audience. 

Paul Kengor, author of “The Divine Plan,” shared that he became inspired to write about this story because of thE general ignorance surrounding it.  

“It’s a shame… Here in America, we really haven’t told the story,” said Kengor. “(We’re) not even learning about this great story that happened with America where Ronald Reagan and John Paul II worked together to defeat this awful atheisticSoviet communism which was the scourge of the 20th century.” 

Director Robert Orlando hopes that upon release, this movie will have an impact on young people especially. He has designed the film to appeal to a younger audience, with exciting graphics and a comicbooktype appeal. 

“I wanted to grab (the youth) by the throat,” Orlando said, and get them off their phones and say, ‘You really have to pay attention. This is a cautionary tale. This was only 30 years ago. If you are forgetting 30 years ago, this is dangerous. 

In producing a theological, historical documentary, Orlando hopes to begin an education process which will inform this generation about the important events which took place in a not-so-long-ago history. 

Junior Rebecca Violet shared how blown away she was by the movie. “I was aware somewhat of this history,” she said, “but I was not aware of the significance of it. And the directors were right when they said that the younger generations are not aware of this. And maybe even older generations too. This movie was very important in delivering that message.” 

“The Divine Plan” will be available in select theaters across the country Nov. 6. The event was hosted by the political science and communication arts departments.