New movie calling Pope Pius XII ‘the Vatican’s Schindler’ screened in Rome

Marcy Oster

ROME (JTA) — A controversial new movie about Pope Pius XII and the Holocaust was screened in Vatican City in its international preview.

The movie shown on Monday, called “Shades of Truth,” is directed by Liana Marabini and attempts to prove that Pope Pius XII was not “Hitler’s Pope” but “the Vatican’s Schindler.”  According to Marabini, the skillful diplomacy of Eugenio Pacelli saved some 800,000 Jews from persecution.

The movie cast international stars such as Christopher Lambert and Giancarlo Giannini.

“The Vatican archives are still closed but at least Catholic cinema= gives us one more fiction to rewrite history” read an editorial in the Jewish on-line  publication Pagine Ebraiche, under the headline “Pius XII, a fiction that rewrites history,” quoted Monday in the national press.

Critics have long accused Pius of not having done enough to help Jews during the Holocaust, while the Vatican has asserted he worked behind the scenes to save Jews.

Pope Francis will see ‘Shades of Truth’ in September during the World Meeting of Families that will take place in Philadelphia. In an interview in June, the Francis defended Pius XII’s record during World War II, calling the former pope “the great defender of the Jews.”