Wonder Woman star to play Catholic social worker in WW2 thriller
A Hollywood actress will star in a new historical film about a Catholic woman who saved Jewish children.
Gal Gadot, best-known for her starring role in 2017 film Wonder Woman, will play Irena Sendler, a Polish woman who helped smuggle thousands of Jewish children in Warsaw during World War II.
The Israeli actress will also co-produce the historical thriller, entitled Irena Sendler, with her husband Jaron Varsano in their new production company, Pilot Wave.
“As producers, we want to help bring stories that have inspired us to life,” Gadot and Varsano told entertainment website Deadline.
“The drama becomes a race against time to save not only herself, but the identities of the hidden thousands who’ll face certain execution.”
Irena Sendler was a 29-year-old Polish nurse and social worker, who smuggled 2,500 children out of the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II.
As a humanitarian worker, she was granted access to the ghetto and used the opportunity to smuggle children out, saving them from the Holocaust.
Nearly 400,000 Jewish people were forced to live together in a cramped area called the Warsaw Ghetto.
In the ghetto, space was crowded, food was scarce, and sanitary conditions were limited.
Sendler obtained a permit through her work connections that allowed her to enter the ghetto under the guise of inspecting its sanitary conditions, according to Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Centre.
In reality, she was working with Jewish organisations to smuggle out as many Jewish children as she could, who were then placed in either Christian homes or in institutions run by Catholic nuns.
Although Sendler was arrested for her underground activities and sentenced to death in October 1943, the underground resistance bribed prison guards for her release in February 1944.
In 2003, Pope John Paul II paid tribute to Sendler when she was awarded the Jan Karski prize for Valor and Courage.
“Having been yourself afflicted with physical tortures and spiritual sufferings, you did not break down, but still unsparingly served others, co-creating homes for children and adults,” he said.
“For those deeds of goodness for others, let the Lord God in his goodness reward you with special graces and blessing.”
Sendler died on May 12 2008, aged 98.
Picture: A Yad Vashem picture of Irena Sendler sits next to a Flickr photo of Gal Gadot playing Wonder Woman in the 2017 film of the same name.Tags: catholic, Catholic Church, Catholic-Jewish relations, Christian, Holocaust, Holocaust survivor, Jewish, Poland, Pope John Paul II, St Pope John Paul II, Warsaw, Wonder Woman