A new movie, in development for years, was finally filmed this fall and hopes to be on the big screen in 2022. It's inspired by actual events that happened at a prisoner-of-war camp in the state of Iowa during World War II. Yes, German POWs were held in Iowa during the war.

The movie, Silent Night in Algona, filmed in three Iowa towns from October 31 through November 19. Scenes were shot in Algona, Forest City, and Whittemore, all in north-central Iowa. While actors and actresses were brought in to play most roles, locals had the chance to be extras in the film.

Anthony Hornus, the director of the movie, told the Globe Gazette,

This is a story of perseverance, survival, family, faith and hope. It’s a story about the people and a moment in their lives during turbulent, uncertain times – small-scale human endurance and daily life in the face of large-scale global upheaval. These scenarios played out in every community – large and small – in America during WWII.

The Globe Gazette reported this spring that the movie would cover about a four-month period in Algona, Iowa, leading up to Christmas Eve, toward the end of the war. The town was home to a POW camp that had more than 70 buildings and could house over 3,000 prisoners.

Armed Forces Historical Center of North Iowa executive director Dave Kingland told the Globe Gazette,

Probably not many people in North Iowa even know about POWs being housed in World War II barracks in Algona... About 10,000 went through there.

World War II ended on September 2, 1945, when the formal surrender of the Japanese was accepted by U.S. General Douglas MacArthur.

Director Hornus hopes to have Silent Night in Algona on big screens across the country ahead of the holidays in 2022. Algona Radio says the movie's premiere is planned for the State 5 Theater in Algona. You can see some of those involved in the making of the film talk about their experience below.

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