Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Pacifist, Nazi Resister
A documentary, directed by Martin Doblmeier, about the life, times, and eventual fate of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the Lutheran minister who was imprisoned by the Nazis and hanged in 1945. Interest in Bonhoeffer shows no sign of abating, not least because his practicality and rootedness-and the struggle, which intensified in his last months, to reforge the role of faith in the world-demand that we engage with his example rather than simply revere it. The film is straightforward, and no less affecting for that; we are led through the chronology of Bonhoeffer’s life, including his two trips to America, and even shown the code by which family members smuggled messages into his cell. As far as talking heads go, there are perhaps too many commentators; happily, however, they are outclassed by Bonhoeffer’s contemporaries, including his close friend Eberhard Bethge. The voiceover, for the readings from Bonhoeffer’s books and letters, is by Klaus Maria Brandauer. -Anthony Lane 90 minutes. DVD only
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