posted April 5, 2004

Film Tells of Theologian Who Resisted Nazis

The story of Dietrich Bonhoeffer will be told through a film being shown at Hope College on Tuesday, April 13, at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. at the Knickerbocker Theatre.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

The presentation of Martin Doblmeier's 90-minute, 2003, documentary "Bonhoeffer" is co-sponsored by Christ Memorial Church and Hope through the assistance of the Office of the Dean for the Social Sciences.

Bonhoeffer was a young German theologian who openly challenged his church to resist the Nazi regime and stand with the Jews in their time of need. He was executed in April of 1945, having been imprisoned for being linked to the failed 1944 conspiracy to assassinate Adolf Hitler.

The film, shot on location in Germany and the United States, features interviews with family members, friends, students and associates who knew Bonhoeffer personally - and includes the last interview given by his closest friend and biographer, Eberhard Bethge, and an interview with the sister of Bonhoeffer's fiancee. The film also includes a speech by Hitler praying for God's blessing on him and the German people, and the only known moving footage of Bonhoeffer.

"Bonhoeffer is one of the great examples of moral courage in the face of conflict," explained director/writer Doblmeier. "I believe part of the reason the film is getting attention now is because many of the issues Bonhoeffer faced - the role of the church in the modern world, national loyalty and personal conscience, what the call to being a 'peacemaker' really means - are issues we continue to struggle with today."

The Knickerbocker Theatre is located at 86 E. 8th St.