This should be a good movie.
Gal Gadot, the Israeli born star of 2017’s Wonder Woman movie has confirmed that she will produce and star in a new film version of the life of Polish wartime heroine Irena Sendler.
Gal Gadot recently set up new production company, Pilot Wave, with her husband Jaron Varsano, and together with Warner Brothers, and producer Marc Platt a buzz is already growing around the project.
The screenwriter for the movie Harry Haft, Justine Juel Gillmer has been brought in to develop the story of Irena Sendler for the big screen. The movie is promised to be an exciting historical thriller in the best tradition of Hollywood high-stakes war pictures.
It opens with the arrest of Sendler by the Gestapo and becomes a race against time to save the lives of thousands of Jewish children smuggled out of the Warsaw ghetto.
At the beginning of WWII Warsaw had one of the largest Jewish populations of any city in Europe but by late 1942 more than 280,000 people had been forcibly deported to Treblinka.
Irena Sendler was a social worker before the War, and during the occupation she continued her role helping low income families and the homeless of the city.
In 1940, when the notorious Warsaw ghetto had been sealed off, imprisoning 400,000 Jews in desperate conditions, Sendler applied for and received a permit to enter to inspect sanitary conditions.
The German occupiers were concerned that any outbreak of typhus could spread to the rest of the city and were happy to allow the young Polish social worker access.
Once inside the ghetto she was able to make contact with the Jewish welfare organisation within its walls and became instrumental in the smuggling of children back out.
Using her contacts within the network of Polish orphanages and institutes set up for the welfare of the city’s abandoned children she was able to hide an estimated two and a half thousand children.
As a mark of solidarity with the Jewish population she wore a Star of David on her coat. During the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising she organised a network of safe houses across the city in which Jews were able to hide while documents and long-term placements could be made.
The children were taught Christian prayers and their names were changed. They were tested to make sure they had memorised them, in case questions were asked by the authorities.
The atmosphere in the city of Warsaw was highly charged, with an active Polish Resistance and a broad network of people committed to undermining the German occupation.
Sendler came to the attention of the Nazi Gestapo in late 1943, who suspected she held a key position in the Polish Underground. Before her arrest on October 20th, 1943 she had just enough warning to be able to hide the coded addresses of the hidden children and the large sums of money that were used to pay off her co-conspirators.
Sendler withstood torture by the Gestapo, who failed to draw any useful information from her. The names and locations of the children she had helped were never revealed.
Eventually, she was sentenced to death for her alleged actions and was sent to Pawiak prison. She was released in February 1944 after bribes were paid to her captors and spent the rest of the war continuing her work underground and out of sight.
The authorities remained interested in her movements and she had to go into hiding to direct her clandestine operations.
Sendler said of her activities during the war that “Every child saved with my help is the justification of my existence on this Earth, and not a title to glory.” She died in 2008. A release date is yet to be set for the movie.