Is the movie Johnny on Netflix based on a true story?

March 28, 2023
KieranDavidBurt 11
Netflix, News, Streaming Service

Is the movie Johnny on Netflix based on a true story? This article discusses whether the Netflix film is based on real-life events. There will be spoilers below. 

Johnny is a film that tells the joyous yet tragic tale of a priest who has dedicated his life to helping people. The narrative focuses on when the priest Jan Kaczkowski met ex-criminal Patryk Galewski and help him set his life straight.

The film provides an uplifting story, showing a man driven to do good in the world because of his faith.

The film has the simple message of being kind to those you meet and everyone, no matter who they are and what they’ve done in their past. This positivity has left others wondering if this story is true and asking about its inspiration.

What is the movie Johnny about?

Johnny is a Polish film on Netflix that follows the life of Jan Kaczkowski, or Father Jan and the positive effect he had on the world. It shows the priest striking an unlikely friendship with an ex-criminal, Patryk Galewski, as the court ordered him to do community service at Jan’s hospice.

Father Jan shows Patryk only empathy and kindness and helps Patryk see a different perspective on life.

The film is directed by Daniel Jaroszek and written by Maciej Kraszewski. Dawid Ogrodnik plays the titular priest and beautifully captures the noble nature of Jan, and Piotr Trojan plays Patryk Galewski.

Is the movie Johnny on Netflix based on a true story?

Yes, the film Johnny is based on a true story. Jan Kaczkowski was a real person, and he was born on July 19, 1977, in Gdynia, Poland. He was a priest of the Catholic Church and suffered from several health problems from birth, including a severe eyesight deficiency.

He visited numerous people with cancer, and viewing their agonies convinced him to start a hospice on wheels. Gaining the help of several doctors and nurses, extraordinary personal sacrifice, and community funding, he managed to found a stationary hospice called The Puck Hospice in 2009 and dedicated the organization the Saint Padre Pio, an Italian priest known for his charity.

Did Father Jan Kaczkowski write books?

Father Jan also wrote several books about living life to the full and living with terminal diseases. A notable work of his is titled The Art of Living Without Lies. 

Is Father Jan Kaczkowski still alive?

In 2012, he was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a brain tumor, and only given months to live. He defied this expectation and lived for four more years, dying on March 28, 2016, at 39.

Turning to Patryk, the movie also recreates a faithful adaptation of his life. He had been raised by an abusive father and fell into substance abuse.

Where is Patryk Galewski now?

Like in the film, Patryk was sent to work through his issues at the Puck Hospice and met Father Jan. Now Patryk is a changed man, with a thriving family, a successful chef, and is the founder of a non-profit organization called Fundacja Ks. Kaczkowskiego, which is dedicated to preserving the memory of Jan Kaczkowski.

Writer Maciej Kraszewski learned of the story from none other than Patryk himself and was so moved he not only created the film but also published a book about Jan Kaczkowski in September 2022 titled Johnny. This publication coincided with the film’s release in Polish cinemas.

You can watch Johnny with a subscription to Netflix.

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11 thoughts on “Is the movie Johnny on Netflix based on a true story?

  • March 28, 2023 at 9:23 pm

    Where can I find “The Art of Living Without Lies”?

  • March 29, 2023 at 3:16 am

    I needed this. Only the Love of God can defeat the works of the Devil, and this film portrays the hard facts of living a Christ centered life. I’m always amazed at how God touches the hearts of souls achingly and painfully seeking that Peace, Peace which only God can give. Hope is ever alive in Gods good Love. Outstanding film.

  • March 31, 2023 at 9:16 pm

    This is a special film, about a special story, about special people. The only criticism I can find is this: special is not normal, and that’s why I weep watching this superb cinema.. John DeLuca

  • April 2, 2023 at 11:26 am

    Wish there were more inspirational movies based on real life like this one! The world would be a better place. God is alive and Johnny’s life is testimony to this truth.

  • April 2, 2023 at 10:39 pm


  • April 4, 2023 at 3:13 am

    My wife and I watched the movie and we really enjoyed it. I am glad that this movie presents the life of a man, a Catholic priest, who loved people like Jesus told us to do. More movies like this one should be made and I feel that the world would be a better place.

  • April 14, 2023 at 6:52 am

    I just saw the movie & was crying like a baby. What a wonderful story. I want to be like Father Jan. Both main characters were so convincing. Loved it.

  • April 16, 2023 at 6:13 am

    My heart expanded so much I was in awe at this beautiful movie. While silent tears rolled down my face. I felt so humble about my life and how amazing Patryk an Jan relationship was. The soul knows no bounds. ?

  • April 17, 2023 at 11:02 pm

    My heroes, these two men. Finally a movie worth watching. Thanks to all involved and to the director and writer who did a magnificent job!

  • April 19, 2023 at 8:11 pm

    Such a touching story! My non-believer husband thought this is just a fairy tale.
    We both are surprised to find that it is actually based on a true story!
    I will tell this story at the next Sunday christian service, to the inmates of a prison in Hong Kong. Some of them have also been transformed through believing in God.
    Praise to the Lord who is our source of life and ??

  • April 22, 2023 at 6:33 am

    Beautiful movie, really Father Jan was a saint That helped Patryk in many ways to become a better person. Loved the movie and maid me cry too ?

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