Why did the German Church embrace Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party? Also, what was a good German, a deeply religious and spiritual man, to do about it?
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was 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 greatest need, and he eventually joined to plots to kill Hitler. Extensive research in the U.S. and Europe brings to life this amazing story of moral courage. Extraordinary archival footage is interwoven with interviews with friends, family, students of Bonhoeffer, leading historians and theologians. Actor Klaus Maria Brandauer reads the words of Bonhoeffer.
“Bonhoeffer” is a revealing look at the inspirational life of a man, a minister, who could not sit idly by during World War II while so many Jews were being harmed and killed. Dietrich Bonhoeffer spoke out against Hitler and the Nazi regime and paid the ultimate sacrifice for it. This film is thorough and intense, as it shows the ugliness and brutality of the Nazis, including archived footage of book burnings and a few brief scenes of corpses. It is intense, for sure, but not gratuitous. It is ironic, too, as it features a speech of Hitler’s, in which he states, “We should not harm anyone, but we will not allow others to harm us.”
This film portrays Bonhoeffer as a kind man who visited New York City, fell in love with the black churches of the day, and listened to their spirituals on records when he returned to Germany. He also hated injustice and gathered a community of men together with the express purpose of putting an end not only to Hitler’s tyranny, but also to Hitler himself. Tragically, his engagement to a woman named Maria never sees its fulfillment. This is a moving documentary in many ways and will touch many hearts.
We are more than pleased to award our “Faith-Friendly” 12-plus Seal to this inspiring, dramatic, and compelling film. “Bonhoeffer” is an unforgettable portrait of the man.