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Bonhoeffer (2003)

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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 277 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 11 critic

Dramatic documentary about the young German pacifist and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer who resisted the Nazi regime and was hanged two weeks before World War II was over.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Martin Doblmeier ...
Narrator (voice)
Adele Schmidt ...
Sabine (voice)
Richard Mancini ...
Bishop Bell (voice)
John Conway ...
Wolfgang Huber ...
John De Gruchy ...
Jean Lasserre ...
Otto Dudzus ...
Victoria Barnett ...
Renate Bethge ...
Christian Gremmels ...
Eberhard Bethge ...
Winfried Mächler ...


Portrait of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German theologian who was imprisoned and killed by the Nazis for plotting to assassinate Hitler, conveys the essence of a man and his world. Bonhoeffer's life is lyrically presented, with his friends and family shedding light on his breakaway seminary, his travels to America and Harlem, his calls to change the world for better, and his noble attempts to respond to Nazi Germany as a Christian. Written by Full Frame Documentary Film Festival

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Pastor/Pacifist/Nazi Resister



Official Sites:




Release Date:

20 June 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dietrich Bonhoeffer  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$5,031 (USA) (29 August 2003)


$163,720 (USA) (29 August 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

It deeply stirred my soul and my mind.
21 May 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I've watched a number of documentaries lately and am often amazed at the stories of history past, but the story of Dietrich Bonhoeffer moved my heart so deeply that I will struggle to articulate my response to the film. I am struck by the conviction and courage of Dietrich. His insight on the scriptures, his sincere honesty, and his life's example to the Christian community are inspiring.

This film gave me a better understanding of what it must have been like to be a citizen in Germany during the first half of the twentieth century than anything else I've experienced. This explanation of the chain of events that led to brutal violence toward the Jewish people in Europe as well as the moral examination of the Christian response to the socio-political position of Nazi Germany answered so many of the questions I've always asked. "How could such a majority of the Germans be persuaded to support the causes of the Third Reich?" "What motivated Germans to act with such hatred?" and "What were Christians thinking and doing during this time?" The only reason I did not give the film a rating of 10 was because the person I watched the film with fell asleep so I wish it would have captured that person's attention as it did mine. I pray that the story is spread to many others either through this film or perhaps a major Blockbuster style account of these events. The good news that Bonhoeffer believed in so completely and the God he gave his life to offer so much more hope to an audience that cries out for the answer to the question "Why, God?" than a story like "Life is Beautiful" ever could. Movie producers everywhere: "Listen to the story of Bonhoeffer and watch this film".

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