fbpx

Woman Who Inspired IRENA’S VOW Motivated By Faith to Save Jews During Holocaust

Photo from Fathom Event’s Instagram

Woman Who Inspired IRENA’S VOW Motivated By Faith to Save Jews During Holocaust

By Movieguide® Contributor

Movieguide® recently spoke with actress Sophia Nelisse and Jeannie Smith, daughter of Irene Gut Opdyke, about the upcoming movie IRENA’S VOW.

IRENA’S VOW tells the real-life story of Opdyke, a Polish nurse who risked her life to save 12 Jews during the Holocaust.

“Through the eyes of a strong-willed woman comes the remarkable true story of Irena Gut Opdyke and the triumphs of the human spirit over devastating tragedy,” a summary reads.

“19-year-old Irena Gut is promoted to housekeeper in the home of a highly respected Nazi officer when she finds out that the Jewish ghetto is about to be liquidated. Determined to help twelve Jewish workers, she decides to shelter them in the safest place she can think of: the basement of the German commandant’s house,” it continues. “Over the next two years, Irena uses her wit, humor, and courage to hide her friends until the end of the German occupation, concealing them in the midst of countless Nazi parties, a blackmail scheme, and even the birth of a child. Her story is one of the most inspiring of our time.” 

“I’ve grown so much because of her story,” Nelisse said of playing Opdyke. “We’re such a society that’s sort of egocentric and focused on our own needs, and I think we rarely take a moment to look up and look around and see who needs help extend a hand to someone, and I think that she’s proof that a little goes a long way.”

Opdyke did not share her experience until years after the fact. Her daughter speculated as to why this was the case.

“I speak to a lot of Jewish groups but other people too that have experienced trauma, and especially the Holocaust kind of trauma, and what I found is that the people who survived have guilt that they survived, and their family members didn’t,” Smith told Movieguide®. “Or they had guilt that they had to do things they would have never in their ordinary lives had to do which was true in my mom’s case.”

Smith called her mother’s faith “her engine.”

“It was her motivation,” she continued. “You know, she grew up with a faith-based household and a very strong personal faith in God himself, and honestly believed that if he opened a door for her, he would see it through… so she literally placed her life herself her actions in God’s hands and trusted him for the outcome.” 

IRENA’S VOW premiers in U.S. theaters for a limited release on April 15 and 16.

Check out the rest of Movieguide®’s interview here:

4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.


4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.

Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.