BY ADRIANA PERRY
A Polish director and screenwriter visited Franciscan University on Saturday to show a prescreening of his recent documentary, “Not About Mary Wagner.”
Grzegroz Braun has a long past of working with radio, television and film. He has been active in the Solidarity Polish Czech-Slovak movement and has worked with the Polish Monarchists Organization. He has directed, written and produced more than 20 films.
“Not About Mary Wagner” is a documentary concerning a pro-life activist from Canada. The documentary was made possible by Film Open Group.
Before the showing, Braun addressed the crowd saying, “It may seem as if I have brought wood to woods, by bringing this film to Steubenville.”
Braun continued to say that it was important to come to Franciscan because it is where leaders can rise up to claim life for future generations.
Although the film recounts many of the events concerning Mary Wagner’s activism, the aim of the documentary aligns itself with the aim of Wagner’s activism.
The film first highlights many people who became involved with Mary’s prosecution and ministry. People such as Alissa Golob, a pro-life speaker with the Campaign Life Coalition; Frank Wagner, Mary Wagner’s father; her attorney and many others were interviewed. They conveyed that Mary was only ever concerned about the babies and the mothers.
Wagner first started her ministry by peacefully going into the abortion clinics with white roses that had a message attached to them for the mothers. She would hand out each rose to those women who were in the waiting room and talk with them. Although her ministry is peaceful she has been in and out of jail more than 15 times.
The film told of a particular occasion during which she was forcefully and brutally taken out of an abortion clinic’s waiting room. Due to the manner in which she was taken out, some of the women who were waiting to have abortions decided to not have them.
The documentary also covered certain eugenics that has made a terrifying impact on the pro-choice side.
Hugh Morgentaler, a Polish Jew and survivor of concentration camps, said in the film, “We’ve gotten rid of people who would have been draw backs to society because they were unwanted.”
On the other hand, Mary Wagner’s reaction to abortion is completely different.
Wagner said, “When I visited Auschwitz, I saw horrors there. This should never be allowed, whether Jews or unborn children.”
After the showing, Braun gave the viewers important information on Mary Wagner’s current jail time.
“Ten days ago the Canadian Court had its first hearing on this new case,” said Braun. “She has refused to use any legal support. She will not be speaking to the judge again due to his unnecessary violent treatment in the previous case. Although the judge asked her on several issues to speak, she did not. The 5 of February will be her next hearing”
“They make it so impersonal, but then it is personal,” said senior Elizabeth Roelands, concerning the pro-choice outlook conveyed in the film.
The closing words of the film were spoken by Wagner herself: “We’re called to love until it hurts, and not just a few people. Our love should not so much be through an intellectual argument but with the heart.”