A team of Polish filmmakers is making a documentary featuring Mary Wagner. The film, commissioned and funded by a Polish businessman, is being directed by Grzegorz Braun, who is known for his documentaries about controversial political issues.
Zdzisław Sajuk, production manager for the documentary, told The Interim that the film will discuss abortion as a cultural, religious, and philosophical issue, while showing the repressive anti-free speech measures of countries that support the procedure.
Produced by Film Open Group, the documentary will feature Mary Wagner and Linda Gibbons. The filmmakers travelled to Canada to capture footage associated with the case after Braun suggested that they include Mary Wagner as part of the documentary footage. The team was present during Wagner’s court hearings, had hired an individual to make sketches of the proceedings and have taken footage of the empty courtroom and the outside of abortion facilities.
The team filmed an interview with Mary Wagner conducted by Andrzej Kumor for Goniec, a Polish-language weekly published in Canada. In the interview, Wagner recounts how a Polish priest arranged for a circulating copy of Poland’s painting of the Black Madonna of Częstochowa to be brought to her in prison in Milton. “It was a beautiful experience,” said Sajuk. “There were guards who came of their own will; 10 incarcerated women were also allowed to come.”
Sajuk also said, “the painting is on pilgrimage for the intention of life and the family. Father (Peter) West delivered the homily… the women were moved to tears. One employee from the medical personnel of the prison thanked me soon afterwards; one of the guards thanked me the next day as well.”
Polish pro-lifers have taken an extensive interest in the Wagner case. On May 12, a group of Poles demonstrated in front of the Canadian embassy in Warsaw as a statement of solidarity with the prisoner before her trial the next day. More than 15,000 Poles signed a petition to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, which was given to Alexandra Bugailiskis, the Canadian Ambassador to Poland. “While imprisoning a person because of personal convictions violates Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, imprisonment for defending human rights violates the very essence of justice,” states the petition, demanding that the prime minister “take all possible action to restore freedom to Mary Wagner, to compensate her for the harm that she has experienced, and prevent anyone in the future from suffering similar persecution.”