Bonhoeffer (2003)


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Movie Info

A chronicle which charts the dramatic life story of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a young German 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 three books, "Cost of Discipleship," "Letters and Papers from Prison," and "Ethics," were all written during the struggle, and are considered classics in the world of religion and ethics. The 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. As well, there is an interview with Ruth Alice von Bismarck, the sister of Bonhoeffer's fiancée, Maria von Wedemeyer.

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Critic Reviews for Bonhoeffer

All Critics (32) | Top Critics (13)

The documentary still works as an introduction to a thinker whose influence, as the passionate praise of Desmond Tutu attests, lasted far beyond his martyrdom.

Dec 6, 2004 | Full Review…
AV Club
Top Critic

There is more to the philosophy and faith of Dietrich Bonhoeffer than a 90-minute documentary can begin to cover, but this is a powerful and timely introduction.

Nov 28, 2003 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

A heroic odyssey that is illuminated with admirable clarity.

Oct 9, 2003 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Though we get little sense of Bonhoeffer the man, the film remains a fascinating account of the evolution of his revisionist thought, which led to a theological justification of collective and, if necessary, violent resistance to tyranny.

Oct 9, 2003

Bonhoeffer is PBS-dry at times, but its portrait of a latter-day martyr is undeniably poignant and thought-provoking.

Jul 17, 2003 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Whatever form the movie takes, it's right and fitting that such a life gets our attention.

Jul 11, 2003 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Bonhoeffer

Disappointing. There was no real attempt to explain Bonhoeffer's theology and there was little drama to the martyrdom. It seemed more like a documentary on the religious institutions in Germany under the Nazis.

Christian C
Christian C

Super Reviewer


Intriguing documentary about Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a very learned and spiritual man, who fought and plotted against Hitler during World War II.

Jason Reneau
Jason Reneau

Super Reviewer

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