2008 marks the thirtieth anniversary of Karol Wojtyla becoming the most recognised person in the world: Pope John Paul II.  The first non-Italian in this role for 455 years, who was this Polish priest and what were the experiences and events in his early life that shaped him and forged his strong convictions?  This film tells the dramatic story of Karol Wojtyla's War Years in Nazi-occupied Poland – and shows how the events he both witnessed and engaged in fundamentally shaped the character of the man he was to become.

Crucially, his many close shaves with death – from avoiding shipment to Auschwitz because he held bogus work papers, to hiding in a basement as Nazi soldiers rounded up the young men of Cracow in 1944 – led him to the belief that god had spared him from death for a reason.  He had a sense of destiny and a mission and at the end of the War in 1946 he joined the priesthood beginning his rise to the top of the Catholic Church.

Using a mixture of archive footage, extracts or adaptations from Karol's own autobiographical writing or contemporaries 'words turned into voiceover or dramatic monologue and interviews with experts and the people who knew him best (incredibly many of them are still alive) interwoven with glossy action-packed dramatic reconstructions of the crucial moments in his wartime years, the film focuses on the period 1939 – 1946.