is the best documentary produced about Dietrich Bonhoeffer. It
demonstrates a faith and allegiance to Christ in the face of fear and
intimidation. It is also unique in its historical footage of the third
Reich, as well as interviews with Bonhoeffer's students.
is a 93-minute documentary film that tells the dramatic story of
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the young German Christian theologian who offered
one of the first clear voices of resistance to Adolf Hitler. Bonhoeffer
openly challenged his church to stand with the Jews in their time of
need, and eventually joined his family in the plots to kill Hitler. His
books, Cost of Discipleship, Letters and Papers from Prison, and
Ethics, were written during the struggle and are considered classics in
the world of religion and ethics.
film, shot on location in Germany and the United States, features
interviews with family members, friends, students and associates who
knew Bonhoeffer personally, including the last interview given by
Bonhoeffer's closest friend and biographer, Eberhard Bethge, and an
interview with Ruth Alice von Bismarck, the sister of Bonhoeffer's
fiancée, Maria von Wedemeyer.
research in archives both in Europe and the US yielded extraordinary
archival footage, including a speech by Hitler praying for God's
blessing on him and the German people and Bonhoeffer family footage
that features the only known moving footage of Dietrich. The production
team was also given access to never-before-seen personal and family
photographs that help bring visual context to Bonhoeffer's life.
film was awarded the 2004 Gabriel Award, the 2004 Wilbur Award, the
2003 Rhode Island International Film Festival Best Documentary Award
and the 2004 Columbus International Film and Video Festival Best
Some of the issues that are raised in this DVD are:
In other words, the documentary demonstrates Bonhoeffer's high Christology, ecclesiology and eschatology.
- Centrality of Christ in Christian Ethics
- Centrality of the community of believers as the center of Christ's redeeming work. (as opposed to "individual" Christianity)
- Christ's commandments as being attainable and normative for the church today.
- Centrality of the "cross." A willingness to abandon "self" amd follow Christ in every circumstance.
- Importance of the church's engagement in the social issues that surround it.
- Selected Bonhoeffer text
- Interview with director
- Archival photo gallery
- Original theatrical trailer
Running Time: 90 minutes
Color: Color & B/W
1. This is a compeling documentary about the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer,
a prominent Christian theologian. Bonhoeffer, who lived in Germany
during the time of Nazi rule, ultimately gave his life in an effort to
stop Hitler's tyranical rule and opression of the Jewish race.
The documentary explores the concept of Christian ethics, and
shows how Bonhoeffer was able to reconcile seemingly contradictory
beliefs of the sanctity of life and justice - to the point that he was
willing to participate in the resistance's attempts to assasinate
The documentary uses phenomenal footage of Hitler's reign,
interviews with Bonhoeffer's friends, family, and students, and
analysis from historians to vividly tell this story. The story has
direct relevance to the world we live in today.
If you are interested in an uplifitng account of how God can use
one ordinary man to make a difference, then this movie is for you. Or,
if you simply want to watch an amazingly well told documentary about an
important era in German history (without feeling preached at), then
this film also is for you. It certainly makes you think about our
current world politics from a fresh point of view.
2. Bonhoeffer was a German Christian theologian who worked during WWII in
the Resistence against Hitler. He was imprisoned during the last years
of the war, and little before the fall of Berlin he was killed. In
prison he wrote his famous "Letters", his first book that I read, and
which is a must read companion book to this dvd.
This is an excellent documentary, not only about the man, but about
the times he lived in, the difficult task of having to decide between
doing what God called us (in this case him) to do, or choosing not to
get involved in what is going on around us. Bonhoeffer realized that he
could not escape the war and go to America, and then expect to have any
role in post-war Germany, preaching what people should do.
One of the great things he said was that whenever we read the Bible
we should believe that God is speaking to us, right there, and right
then. His crime, according to the Nazis, was that he reminded people
who their real Fuhrer was: the Lord Jesus Christ. Q. Miense.
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum: Dietrich Bonhoeffer Online Exhibition
This product was added to our catalog on Monday 24 March, 2008.