Search - Bonhoeffer on DVD

Actors: Eberhard Bethge, Klaus Maria Brandauer, John De Gruchy, Geffrey Kelly, Richard Mancini
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Special Interests, Documentary, Military & War
NR     2004     1hr 30min

BONHOEFFER tells the dramatic story of one of the greatest theologians of the 20th century, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, his life and his resistance to Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. While the German Church establishment embrace...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Eberhard Bethge, Klaus Maria Brandauer, John De Gruchy, Geffrey Kelly, Richard Mancini
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Special Interests, Documentary, Military & War
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Religion, Religion & Spirituality, Biography, History, Military & War
Studio: First Run Features
Format: DVD - Black and White,Color
DVD Release Date: 04/20/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 30min
Screens: Black and White,Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 18
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English, German

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Movie Reviews

Compeling story of a theologian and anti-Hitler acrivist
E. Cook | Washington D.C. | 07/28/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"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 Hitler.

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.

A+ for content
A+ for presentation"
I would drive 700 miles
Stanford Gibson | West Sacramento, CA USA | 08/04/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This documentary is quite simply a must see. My buddy and I contemplated driving from Sacramento to Seattle to see it before we heard about it on DVD. Simply put, it would have been worth the trip. The film is mostly primary sources, those close to Dietrich, several of whom passed away shortly after its filming. Bonhoeffer is one of the most compelling theologians of the twentieth century and this is the best window into his life available. Costly grace, ethical constructs of good vs good and the world come of age are all paradigm shifting ideas - but the locus of their authority rests in the details of his life and risks taken in the name of bold action in service of God. Highly recommended."
A remarkable film about one man's conscience and courage.
E. Bukowsky | NY United States | 04/10/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Dietrich Bonhoeffer was born in Breslau, Germany, in 1906, to wealthy, privileged, and well-connected parents. He received his doctorate in theology in 1927. At a time when Germany was reeling from her humiliation at the hands of the Allies after World War I, the proponents of National Socialism began to capture the loyalty of Germans who were desperate to recover their economic, cultural, political, and military glory. Bonhoffer searched his soul, his conscience, and his Bible, in an effort to decide where his responsibilities lie. His decision to risk his freedom and his life by actively resisting the Nazis will forever set him apart as a man of valor.

"Bonhoeffer" is a superb documentary. It is informative, well-researched, and intensely moving. Rare archival footage includes a scene in which Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli (the future Pope Pius XII), and Germany's vice chancellor, Franz von Papen, formally sign a concordat between the Holy See and the German Reich on July 20, 1933. The surrender of the Roman Catholic Church to Hitler's might at the expense of the helpless victims of Nazi terror makes Bonhoeffer's sacrifices all the more remarkable. There is also hard-hitting footage of Hitler and Goebbels spouting their venom before thousands of cheering and ebullient German citizens.

This ninety-minute documentary, in both black and white and color, includes comments by survivors, historians, and theologians who knew Bonhoeffer; their words lend gravity and verisimilitude to the film. These individuals describe Bonhoeffer as an inspiring teacher, a thoughtful writer of theological treatises, and finally, an active resister who took part in a failed conspiracy to assassinate Hitler. Bonhoeffer had an opportunity to stay in America, where, from a safe haven, he could have attempted to inspire resistance to the Nazi regime. However, Bonhoeffer could not bring himself to abandon his homeland at a time when she was under siege by an evil dictator.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer believed that religion is not an abstraction, but a way of life. It was his opinion that a man of God must care for all of his fellow human beings, and reach out to support them when they are in need. His example will forever inspire men and women of conscience as they continue to fight for the freedoms that we often take for granted. This film would be an excellent selection for high school and college students as part of a curriculum on the Holocaust, theology, and human rights."
Compelling and distressing
Tahl | Virginia USA | 03/03/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The producers have done an exceptional job making a compelling biopic on someone on whom there is almost no video footage. (We see Bonhoeffer in a moving image only once, at a family outdoor event, as I recall).

At the same time, they've made a movie about Germany, and in particular about how the Protestant and Catholic churches in Germany coped -- in some cases, welcomed -- the rise of the Nazi party, and about how Hitler himself used religious speech to his own ends. Almost all the footage of Hitler in this film is stuff I've never seen before; some of it startled me.

I learned a great deal, and was glad I did. The movie will probably appeal most to people interested in Bonhoeffer as a theologian and writer, but History Channel fans may get gripped too."