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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

Under-your-skin doc that brings clarity to Nazi-era spiritual turmoil
27 July 2003 | by (Alexandria, Virginia) – See all my reviews

It looks like a PBS piece ... because it undoubtedly will be. The support credits include some of the few remaining funding sources for long-form documentary work ... but that's just the bankroll, not the message. For those who have spent more than a few moments wondering how the impressive intellectual and cultural powers of Germany in the '30's and '40's could have "allowed" Hitler to wreak the genocide and destruction that he did, start here. "Bonhoeffer" digs into the mind and spirit of one man... but the filmmaker's eye never blinks. The careful balance of grainy black and white, motion camera exploration of archival stills and contemporary color footage of eyewitnesses, historians and theologians creates a tapestry that romances the viewer into wondering who this "Dietrich" is ... then experiencing his personal struggles and turmoil ... then taking shallow breaths as he poses for a picture in the Tegel prison courtyard in a jacket and tie -- gentleman to the end. The closing fog- bound color photography of Flossenburg (the concentration camp where Bonhoeffer was hanged literally days before the allies arrived) is chilling. The perfect coda.

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