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‘Vadis’ preems for Pope

Kawalerowicz pic explores struggle of early Christians under Nero

WARSAW — Pope John Paul II will attend the world premiere of Polish feature epic “Quo Vadis” Aug. 30 in Vatican City.

The $18 million film, the most expensive Polish pic ever made, will be screened to a select audience of 6,000 in the Vatican’s Paul VI Audience Hall.

“Quo Vadis” is helmed by Jerzy Kawalerowicz, Oscar-nommed for 1966’s “Faraon” (Pharoah), and is based on the novel written in 1896 by Nobel Prize-winning Polish author Henryk Sienkiewicz.

The film explores the struggles of the early Christians in Emperor Nero’s ancient Rome.

The choice of venue for the premiere is particularly poignant, as the hall sits on the same ground where Nero persecuted Christians in his circus in the first century A.D.

“Quo Vadis” was shot in Tunisia, France and Poland and will see its Polish premiere Sept. 9 in Warsaw.

(David Rooney in Rome contributed to this story.)

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