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27 March 2006

Bonhoeffer is a 2003 feature length documentary film that has played in selected theaters and on PBS. It is now available on dvd. This film was also my first introduction to the young German Lutheran theologian.

The movie begins with Bonhoeffer's childhood and continues with family photos, narrated letters and interviews with family, friends and former students. Interspersed are newsreel images of Hitler and the current events that accompanied him. The viewer has a sense of the inevitable — a "no way out" feeling as Bonhoeffer follows his conscience and time marches forward to his imprisonment and execution.

I was fascinated by this man's sense of purpose from the time he was a child and his bravery as he became more deeply involved in the plot to kill Hitler. Even Lutherans who are not fans of ecumenism cannot fail to admire Bonhoeffer.

The movie contains no graphic holocaust violence, but is still chilling.

I understand that CTSFW featured a 2-day Bonhoeffer conference in February. I'm sorry I missed it. I look forward to reading some of his works.

More information on this movie may be found at this website.

This was a very good documentary. I ordered several books by Bonhoeffer after I watched it.

I later saw another documentary, on either the History Channel or Discovery Channel, where they experimentally reenacted the assassination plot with live explosives and dummies. Wow! If anything, Bonhoeffer understated how close they came to succeeding. (It is stated clearly. It is easy for the viewer, however, to imagine they're overstating when they are not.) Hitler was blown off his feet and out of half his clothing. I like to picture the world we might have had had this succeeded. I trust that God in his Providence got this one right. But the "What if?" question makes for fascinating speculation.
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