Martin Luther (1953) Poster

(1953)

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9/10
A realistic view of Luther & his times in the 16th century.
john5505 October 2002
This movie is a must see for student wishing to gain a more detail knowledge of Martin Luther and his environment in the 1500's, than can be gained from only reading a book. The focus is simply on Luther and his philosophy rather than on alot of the side elements that make todays movies popular. With very good acting and a straightforward time-line, Martin Luther's story is told. The movie begins with a quick steeing of both the history of the times and the prevelant religious attitudes. After that it segues into Martin Luther as a successfull law student. Because Luther's life developed one major event after another, so the movie builds the story. A lot of history was unfolding during Luther's time (the middle of the Renaissance) and some interesting historical facts can be gleaned from the movie. Good direction, very good acting, and stark lighting all add to the historical significance of this work.
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9/10
Wonderfully-acted and produced masterpiece!
faaus7211 December 2005
This excellent film brings to life Luther's growing realization that the religion, to which he had dedicated his life, was flawed. His character is shown to mature in believable stages, culminating in acts of ferocious courage.

The costumes, sets and hairstyles were authentic and help transport the viewer to the past very effectively.

Luther's message and wisdom are amply portrayed and serve as a basis for anyone to examine their beliefs.

The film does not suffer from dating, even though it was made over 50 years ago. The black and white imagery imparts a sense of timelessness, worthy of the subject matter. The acting is, almost without exception, very natural and believable.
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9/10
School learning brought to life
Wolfi-1019 September 2003
Of course, Martin Luther is treated in considerable depth at German high schools, but the resulting knowledge consists of a somewhat puzzling series of events and dates. This film shows the atmosphere of the times, the mindset of the people, and particularly Luther's own mental anguish about the condition of the Christian church at that time, and his thoughts and feelings as the driving force of a major religious and political upheaval. Very illuminating is the seriousness with which personal beliefs are taken, not only by the "little people", but by their worldly leaders as well, in contrast to the callousness of the church leaders around the pope. It is also interesting how Luther benefited from the relatively fair and tolerant attitudes and practices of the 16th century, which were completely wiped out a hundred years later.

The acting in the movie is excellent, as are the scenery and costumes, shown in stark black and white photography. The producers spared no expense to present the wide range of political and religious figures with whom Luther interacted. The dialogs are poignant and always clearly understandable over any background music. Unfortunately, my CD exhibits a rather poor video quality, considering that it is based on a post-WW2 b/w movie. Still, the film is fascinating to watch from beginning to end and, if shown in high school, would successfully replace a week of dry learning.
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Extremely well done, important story
inshalla12 August 2003
McGinnis' performance is stellar; he was very much like I imagined the real Martin Luther to be; unmovable in his personal beliefs, but compassionate to individuals; enthusiastic about bettering mankind, but merciless about his own weaknesses. The on-location shooting for this movie is wonderful, and the black-and-white cinematography concentrates attention on the actors facial expressions. Supporting actors were very well selected for their characters. Period costumes, activities and dialogue were well-researched and very-well done. The copy of the movie I saw was not restored...so to get the most out of it, you need to give it your full concentration, but you'll be well rewarded. It portrays one of the most pivotal individuals in history, and does it well. As with all the best movies, you wish it didn't have to end...
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The Great Heretic
theowinthrop6 November 2004
In 1517 a young monk nailed a long paper to the door of Wittenberg's Cathedral containing 95 thesis - they were 95 different questions that the current Roman Catholic Church failed to settle in it's accounting of the Christian faith. When Martin Luther did his act he started more than a personal dilemma of the might of the Church (and much of the state) against one lone monk, but he also shook that mighty Church and created the greatest schism it faced in five hundred years (the last one being the split with the Eastern/Greek Orthodox Church about 1050 A.D.). Luther never envisioned his questions would lead to the Protestant Reformation, but once it got beyond the initial query of the 95 thesis - when he was faced with either knuckling under or facing death by burning as a heretic - Luther proved himself the man to continue leading his reformation.

He was not a flawless figure. He was self-centered, and resented rival "heretics" (Zwingly, John of Munster, Calvin), and he would become really vicious towards the Jews for failing to follow his leadership into "true Christianity". In fact his diatribes against the Jews would become the true foundation of modern German anti-Semitism. But he remains the founder of Protestantism.

His flaws do not appear in this film, which was made by the Lutheran Church.

However the film is a pretty faithful account of his conflict with the organized Church, and how it led to the creation of Protestantism (and, in particular, Lutheranism). It gave Niall MacGinnis the best straight dramatic lead role in his career (the closest second is his Karswell, the villain in NIGHT OF THE DEMON). MacGinnis always was a superior supporting actor in small parts, so it is worth noting that when he was given an important part like Luther he did the part well.
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7/10
MARTIN LUTHER (Irving Pichel, 1953) ***
Bunuel197620 March 2008
This was included in a budget 3-Disc Set comprising ten religious-themed efforts which have fallen into the Public Domain; indeed, it was the most desirable title of the lot and it turned out to be pretty good. Incidentally, four other small-scale films found on this collection were produced by various evangelical groups and, in fact, so was this biopic. Though compromised in this edition by the softness (and slight damage) of the available print, the handsome production afforded the film itself resulted in two Academy Award nominations (uncommon for an independently-made effort) – best cinematography and best black-and-white art direction/set decoration.

MARTIN LUTHER is a curious collaboration between three countries – the U.S., Germany (from where Martin Luther himself emanated) and the U.K.; in fact, while the director (and bit-part actor) Irving Pichel is an American, the lead here is played – superbly, I might add – by the Irish character actor Niall MacGinnis (perhaps best-known for his chilling portrayal of Karswell, the occult-practicing villain of Jacques Tourneur’s CURSE OF THE DEMON [1957]). His thoughtful performance is very effective in illustrating the various facets of Luther’s personality: his initial inner conflicts, the laying-down of (and firm conviction in) his own beliefs, as well as the strength necessary for opposing the power of the Church (facing disrepute from both his peers and his congregation, not to mention an eventual excommunication). Furthermore, we’re also shown the build-up of support to his particular credo where it attracts people from all walks of life…and even lands him a wife!

The script does quite well in delineating the essential difference between the doctrine of the Catholic Church (in its most oppressive state, back when it was still a political force to be reckoned with) and Luther’s pragmatic but no less steadfast approach to religion: the latter favors a strict adherence to Scriptures in the face of the Church’s fire-and-brimstone teachings (resorting to the deception of ignorant parishioners by proposing the worship of worthless holy relics and the offer of money in order to obtain indulgences in the afterlife, or the callous bestowing of titles upon non-clerical albeit aristocratic subjects).

When I was in Hollywood in 2005, I had caught LUTHER (1974) on TV: directed by Guy Green from a stage rendition by John Osborne and featuring Stacy Keach in the title role, it’s been released on DVD by Kino as part of “The American Film Theater Collection”. While that version, too, was undeniably interesting and effective, the earlier cinematic i.e. less stagey treatment was perhaps the more satisfactory; by the way, there’s been an even more recent biopic of the famous religious figure starring Joseph Fiennes, which is readily available from my local DVD rental outlet.
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10/10
Pure genius
Chief-112 January 1999
An amazing movie I have seen several times. If only there was a movie done this good on John Calvin. Nevertheless, from story line to directing, this movie retains value for repeated watching.
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Excellent, if Slightly Stilted Film About One of History's Great Heroes
dlesage-110-2950938 March 2012
Warning: Spoilers
This excellent West Germany-American collaboration covers the first half of Martin Luther's life, from his renunciation of his legal studies through to the Augsburg Confession.

The film features a great deal of narration which, whilst awkward at times, gives context to the events dramatised which would no doubt help those not so familiar with this part of history. Fortunately, the narration never sinks to the level of condescension.

Whilst a reverential film, this is not hagiography. Luther's temper and outbursts of vitriol are on display at times.

Niall MacGinnis does an exemplary job in the role of Dr Luther and, indeed, all of the cast are superb.

Luther's motivations are clearly depicted whilst the Catholic case for a monopoly on religion is also well-made, providing a balanced view and making the film all the more powerful for that. The Roman Catholic Church is presented has having forsaken its spiritual mission for geopolitical strategies yet it is Luther's idealism that, of course, wins out, yet the bad consequences of individual interpretation (the rise of eccentric religious cults and Christian fundamentalism) are hinted at.

Ultimately, though, this is a film about a quest for freedom of both conscience and freedom from a patronising, corrupted priesthood with a monopoly on religious "truth".

By breaking from the practice of indulgences and the notion of priestly intercession and by triggering the break-up of the Holy Roman Empire, Luther and his God granted Europe the freedoms from the twin yokes of tyranny and the feudal system that we enjoy today.

The film ends with one of Luther's most famous self-penned hymns, a fitting tribute to a man who stood against the governing forces of his day in the name of truth. He preached "faith alone" and it was this faith which changed the face of Europe forever and regenerated the spirituality of the continent.
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9/10
Looking at the life of Luther from a very Lutheran perspective
MartinHafer15 March 2012
There are quite a few films about Martin Luther, though this one is unusual because it was produced by the Lutheran Church--not Hollywood or some other secular group. Not surprisingly, when I grew up a Lutheran, this is the version they occasionally showed at church functions. Also, not surprisingly, it's filled with church doctrine and other teachings that you won't get in a Hollywoodized version of the life of this church leader.

At times the film is very much like a documentary in style--with narration and explanation of Luther's inner torments when he began having doubts about his Catholic faith. You see a slightly less human side to Niall MacGinnis' characterization of Luther--more the authoritarian and scholarly in nature and fewer insights into his personal life. Considering the film's goal is to elevate this made to greatness as the leader of the faith, it does a very good job in inspiring the masses and putting across many of the differences between Catholicism and Protestantism. Very well made and well worth seeing.
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7/10
By Faith Alone
bkoganbing1 January 2008
This reverential biographical film of the founder of the Lutheran Church by the Lutheran Church would hardly have been anything else. The many flaws of Martin Luther, his sexism, his anti-Semitism, get no mention here. His contributions to theology and to the German culture the good ones are discussed at great length.

Martin Luther is not THE founder of Protestantism, he's the founder of one of the Protestant denominations. There was a fellow over in Switzerland named John Calvin, a guy later on in Scotland named John Knox, and even that wife slaughtering monarch in England Henry VIII all founded various Protestant denominations.

Yet Luther, a priest who originally wanted to be a lawyer and who attacked the ruling Roman Catholic Church, certainly showed a lawyer's training. His famous 95 questions nailed to the church door in Wittemberg was nothing less than an indictment.

The great contribution theologically speaking that Luther made was the notion that no one, not even a Pope intercedes for man in his relationship with the Deity. One is saved by faith alone in the fact that Jesus is the Messiah who sacrificed himself for the sins of man.

It should not be forgotten that at this time the Catholic church was very engaged in the geopolitics of Europe and the world as a temporal power as well as a center of faith. The Pope as a temporal ruler had temporal needs like the ruler of any other state, maybe more so with his dual function. Hence the sale of indulgences which according to the Lutheran versions were dispensations for sins to come. I'm sure Catholics will differ, but they didn't produce this film.

Niall McGinniss makes a fine and upstanding Martin Luther. The film was shot on location in West Germany in the places mentioned in the story. The film also got Oscar nominations for Art&Set Design and black and white cinematography in its very graphic depiction of medieval Germany.

It's not my view of Martin Luther, but it certainly is the view that Lutherans certainly have of him.
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9/10
THE BEST DVD VERSION. . .
blue-718 August 2004
While there are several VHS and DVD issues of this title, most of them leave a lot to be desired in the way of doing justice to pictorial quality of this fine 1953 release. I'm glad to report that there is at last a decent copy available on DVD -- the 50th Anniversary Edition issued by Gateway Films(their phone number is 610-584-3500). This version comes from the original negative material and is by far the finest you will see of this title -- However, the film does not survive in pristine form. It is in need of a restoration. Until this happens (if it ever does), you will find this issue to be quite fine, with a number of little "Extras" that give some insight into present day sites of events in Martin Luther's life, an interesting biography of how the film came to be made and the special way that it was brought to theatres, as well as bios and photos of the actors and production crew. This films was nominated for two Oscars in 1953, picked by the New York Times as one of the 10 best films of the year, and generally acclaimed by most Christian groups (except the Catholic Church, of course, who considers Martin Luther to be a heretic). I know the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints bought a number of 16 mm prints for use in their seminary programs. The power of this film in depicting the reformation period helped influence the LDS Church into starting its own motion picture department.

To me, Luther's story is an important key needed in preparing the way for the restoration of the restored gospel in these latter-days (which I believe happened when God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ appeared to the young Joseph Smith), for others it will have a different effect -- but the exciting thing about this film is that it tells its story accurately, with great fairness, and has power in performances, words and images. HIGHLY RECOMENDED!
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8/10
Martin Luther (1953) : the just shall live by faith
zhanelsuleimenova23 October 2018
Warning: Spoilers
A film based on a historical plot is always difficult to make, especially on the religious theme such as Martin Luther (1953). There will be always people who favor a particular interpretation of religious teachings and at the worst will state that they do not believe in the truthful presentation of the story. But, nevertheless, the authors of this picture give a notice at the beginning of the movie that it was a result of careful research of facts done by reformation scholars Theodore Tappert and Jaroslav Pelikan. I believe, that authors coped with their tasks to represent the history of reformation started by Martin Luther, even if the movie showed a too idealistic picture of the protagonist. First of all, it is important to note that the film was shot in Germany, where Martin Luther is a "national hero" that I why I do believe that film reflects Luther's real biography and his ideas without an author's vision of picture as most commercial movies do. Still, I found that the primary intended audience of Lutheran Church Productions is English speaking Lutherans all around the world, thus, the movie portrays their progenitor in the best possible light. Martin Luther (1953) is a good movie that was able to represent on screen the complexity and inconsistency of the religious situation in Europe at the beginning of the 16th century: the dominance of the church, the unquestioning authority of the pope in Western Europe, the lack of education of ordinary lay people who blindly follow instructions church leaders. As long as they carry the Word of God to people, everything they do and claim should be considered as the truth. However, Luther was a thirsty person for justice, withdrawing from the Law School and trying to find justice in St. Augustine's Monastery. For almost two years, he was following a strict regimen of ascetic piety, he still didn't find an inner peace. His mentor monk Staupitz seeing Martin flagellating himself half to death states that he can't help his soul by punishing his body and send him to Holy Rome. In his trip to Rome, where he supposed to help his troubled soul to reconcile, Martin vise-verse discovered the corruption of Roman Catholicism. He recognizes that symbols, rituals are not the thing that should connect common people with a God. He believed that only faith and Jesus Christ can make you close to the God, not the Church. Moreover, at that time the Pope gave an order to Church sell indulgences for raising money for construction of St. Peters Cathedral. Indulgences offer people to buy forgiveness of their sins. As long as, he already had internal doubts about this system, Martin calls indulgences as "not a salvation, but a damnation of the soul" and claims that it is not supported by the Scripture. The point of reference in his biography becomes the time when he goes to the University of Wittenberg to get a degree of Doctor of theology. From now on, Luther offers questions and seeks evidence, he is bold in his judgments and is not afraid of authorities. It was clearly shown in the movie when he and his followers burnt the books and texts which supported the power of the Pope. Considering the inconsistencies of the movie, the central place of the movie, of course, is occupied by the famous "95 theses" of Luther against indulgences that he nailed it to the door of the Catholic Church. It is considered as the beginning of the Reformation in Europe and the history of Protestantism. However, insufficient attention is paid to other events. For example, the process of translating the Bible into German, such an important and responsible decision, is shown somehow chaotic and erratic, as if Luther simply took, sat down and translated the Holy Scripture. In fact, he devoted a whole year to this from 1521 to 1522. Moreover, I think that the lack of information given about Martin's supporters like the German nobles. To conclude, the whole film is a detailed story about the stages of a difficult journey, shown in a slightly idealized way, as a loved one and an outstanding personality can be idealized. Authors convinced me that this path was not for many - that only such a person as Martin Luther could persuade the people to resist the Pope and fundamentally revise all Christianity.
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10/10
Martin Luther review
akgulussenova22 October 2018
Warning: Spoilers
The Film Martin Luther, 1953, shows the major 16th century's movement, which is now called Protestant Movement, started by a monk Luther as a result of his attempt to reform the Roman Catholic Church. The movement of Luther, put and end of the Christian unity and marked the beginning of split of Christianity. In the 16th century, Rome believed in the nonseparation of religion and government, pope and an emperor. Luther condemned the church for its promises to forgive the sins in return for money contributions to the church, and the increasing number of political rulers, extending their power from behalf of a church. Film of Martin Luther's life begins with the depiction of his life as a monk that feels deep guilt for not loving a God, and traces his life to the point where he separates from the Roman Church. The journey of Luther begins with his confession to the vicar of Catholic church that he cannot love a God that condemns the man for being evil by his nature. However, the vicar sends Luther to Rome, in order for the later to learn more about the God and find peace for his troubled soul. Luther sees and passes over all the relics of Catholic churches. The Catholic doctrine teaches and promises that those who pass over those relics, such as the cross in altar of st.John, the steps on which Jesus walked and fell in palace of Pilate, among others will gain release of his soul from flames for certain thousand years. After 2years being in Rome, Luther returns Augustinian monastery. However, at return, his teachers find Luther believing totally different interpretations of scripture than those taught by the Catholic church. Soon, the preaches of Luther start to contradict the preaches of Roman church. Luther denied the authority of Roman church, and taught his followers for obeying not human, priest, pope, or church, but God. Luther condemns the church for its emphasis on relics as the main focus of the religious practices, arguing that the meaning of the prayer is lost as a result. He criticizes the church for extensive levies on peasants and ordinary men, by giving them the false promise of forgiveness of sins in return. In turn, Luther, preaches that salvation can be attained not by buying indulgencies of a church as it was believed before, but by believing and praying and reading the scripture. Such teachings were not heard before by the Catholics. And as it is not surprising, the teachings of Luther greatly disturbed the Catholic church, the pope and other priests, who have been building their system of levies on believers, and funded their expenses through those paper promises of forgiveness of sins. By such preaches, Luther earned many enemies in the face of the highs of the church and political rulers. However, the numerous attempts to fear him and make him silent, did not persuade Luther to stop his way of finding the truth. Thus, the overall, unquestioned before authority of Catholic Church, was now subject to debates. The heat around the Luther's teachings elevated, when he released his 95 theses, which was the work of his life. In this theses, Luther argues that a man needs only Bible to be able to practice Christianity and to attain forgiveness of sins. Luther was condemned for exile and death by the emperor and the church. However, his followers gave him a harbor and saved him from the anger of church. While his theses gained great popularity all over the Europe, and the number of his followers rose dramatically. This work of Luther revoked the religious debates over the Europe, finally resulting in the split of Christianity. The film tells the biography of the monk, who searched for the truth by himself and attained it by denying the authority of anyone, but God. However, the movement of Luther, can be criticized for bringing resentment to Christianity and its believers at the time when the unity was needed as never before. As it is known, the 16th century is not only the time of the wake of Protestant movement, but also the time of an increasing spread and influence of Islam in the Central Europe. Thus, it can be argued that the debates within the Christianity, were unnecessary in the face of the growing oppositional forces. However, it can be said that Luther did not even attempted to separate the church; he just wanted the Church to accept the scripture as the supreme code of religious conduct and practice. But the involvement of political figures, such as the emperor, in the deals of the church, as well as, the chase of a church itself after the material gains made the unity of Luther's teachings and the Catholic church's teachings impossible. Thus, the importance of Luther's movement to the becoming and development of Christianity cannot be denied.
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8/10
Masterpiece against dogma
jsembayeva21 October 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Zhanel Sembayeva Modern cinematography with an abundant history possesses the wide variety of powerful and strong film biographies or, simply biopics. The drama of Irving Pichel "Martin Luther" from my perspective should also be enlisted amongst other movie masterpieces. Despite apparently favourable interpretation of Luther's personage in a movie, the artistic value of this film shall not be overlooked. The music that was composed by genius composer Mark Lothar and performed by Munich Philharmonic Orchestra sensed and transmitted both the emphasized crucial peripeteias as well as unspoken premises of depicted scenes. Furthermore, the magnificent performance of Niall McGinniss as a Martin Luther, his deep voice and brilliant authentic play with speaking eyes and gestures accomplished the director's nocturne. The biopic represents the detailed depiction of Martin Luther's life in a strong chronological order,, his coming to Church after Law school, his search for Truth, doubts on Medieval Church dogma and Holy Roman Empires' tenets and eventual study of Sacred Books that revealed him new perception of faith and Church role in Christianity. People living at that time believed that the world was fulfilled by demons and other malevolent spirits, and the only salvation and ultimate escape from these unfortunate forces was the Church. The obedience and conformity to Christian orthodoxy of 16th century was perceived as the merely instrument for "protection and deliverance from eternal damnation. In reality, that meant the immense influence along with control of Medieval Church in German lands. It should be stressed that short introductory overview in the first minutes of the movie was represented in a well structured informative and cohesive way for common viewer who possesses inadequate knowledge of history of the Medieval Christian Church. The movie which name it straightforwardly indicates the central personage from the very first minutes apparently attempts to impose an image of Martin Luther as a generous and wandering stranger whose the only principle is to follow his call for something that will rescue him from being "a skeleton of his own beast". Moreover, the scene where Martin informs his university friends about going to Church attracts the particular attention since the amiable and tumultuous gathering then followed by the contrasting the formal and organized environment of Church and the depiction of Martin's of adherence to monastic vow. interestingly, the movie is performed in a omniscient narrative, where the voiceover's comments assist the viewer in understanding the Luther's intentions and actions. Music and accompanying choral anthems plays an integral role in the representation the character of the scene and director's objective perception of Martin's life. At the moment when Martin Luther is seeking and his present is under doubt the instrumental music is played in a melancholic and disparate tones, with vivid performance of woodwind instruments. We can see that Martin's search and forgiveness of the sins leads him to Rome and Scriptura study. After receiving the Doctor's degrees and as consequently scrutin study of sacred Scriptures, Martin for the first time starts to question the foundational conventions of the Church. In a movie, this transformation of vision presents by a conflict of Martin Luther with Vicar, whose character is a symbol of Orthodox Medieval Church and monastic customs. Martin doubts the exegarrated adherence and worship of sacred relics and suggests the absence of relics' worship's reference in the Bible. "Man only needs Jesus Christ". My faith must live alone ,"The just must live by faith alone" - the words by which Martin captures his ideology. Once again, the righteousness of the moment in a movie is underscored by leading play of a trumpet on the orchestral background. By such a musical approach, the composer perhaps wanted to indicate the triumph moments when Martin Luther considered his revolutionary ideas. However, as the movie continues, it can be seen how the attention that was previously attached majorly to the figure of prominent theologian has crossed towards the very aspects of his studies. Final minutes reveals the Martin's adherents that championed faith in Bible and resisted to Rome's authority of Orthodoxy Medieval Church. The revolutionary Luther's interpretation of faith of Christ and Sola Scriptura disseminated as a virus that touched the very hearts of every Christian man (in particular considerable parts of peasants and princes) to such an extent that ultimately the Emperor was incapable to resist. The final scene by which the "Martin Luther" lowers its curtain is the Martin Luther himself whose ignite glance, and heart, and soul are eagering to the believe and pray in the name of Christ with the help of Bible, which are the only ones that serve as a source for the Truth.
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9/10
Great work of art
assylzatshaizanda21 October 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Martin Luther is biopic about the one after whom the film takes it's title, made by Irving Pichel. It tells us the story of Protestant Reformation Movement that is closely associated with Martin Luther's biography that takes period between 1505 and 1530 A.D. One needs to emphasise the work of the director, the writers and actors who take you to the atmosphere of that times with both their work and dedication, personally I appreciated Niall MacGinnis' work and talent, as I forgot that I am watching a movie at all. Everything starting with costumes, background and dialogues especially give a sense of time travel experience. However, one can note to oneself that authors have very pro Protestant views, or at least the film and the depiction of Martin Luther gives that sense. He is portrayed in heroical role, almost in connected to the role of Jesus Christ in the Christian religion. As there is some particular expectation towards movies that are said to be biographical, there should be more human like depiction of them, with all the flaws that people had during their lifetime, the thing that one does not get from this movie, since Martin Luther is shown as flawless figure with perfectly clear history, with obedience to his faith, thoughts and beliefs. Maybe it is because of my cynicism, I personally cannot believe in that kind of flawlessness, and some even minor realistic flaws would have earned my appreciation. It is very good movie, even for general education, without emphasis on religious side, a movie about one man's struggle through life to find a meaning on something that he cares about. A movie about someone standing his ground against authority, against all the world, for example when he argues with other monks on his opinion, a monk asks him who is Martin Luther's authority to base his opinion on, to which Dr. Luther responds saying that he is his on authority to believe in. Moreover, the fact that he creates an idea of individualistic faith is something that definitely worth attention, that is actually well emphasised in the movie, when he debates with his mentor telling the importance of faith alone in order to reach salvation, Dr. Luther explicitly writes "sola" which means alone on his Latin Bible, showing the audience the strength of his belief. In addition to those strong scenes and actions shown in the movie, his strong belief and his strong character is even more revealed in the scenes where he is asked to recant on his thoughts that he had shown on his writings, that were spread in Germany. His only response was "Here I stand, I can do no other. God help me. Amen" that are his famous words. All these scenes are depicted with such a truthfulness and realness that one can do nothing but believe in what is happening, Niall MacGinnis does a great work in showing all the emotions that you expect from a person of that type of Martin Luther, as he speaks with passion and belief in his words. However, that is what makes it feel like something more close to epos or a tale of a hero rather that a real human being. The flawlessness of the main character is what makes it so plastic and unreal, because as it is biographical picture, there is some expectations on seeing the real human, real Martin Luther that can feel anger, fear or bitter. There is a bit of subjectivity, that can be understood. Overall, with all the atmosphere, music that creates an atmosphere of drama and intrigue, costumes, dialogues and performance makes this film a great work of art and history, but not a biography.
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8/10
The doctorine of conscience
revmov21 October 2018
Warning: Spoilers
The film Martin Luther produced by AFIFA Film studios in 1953, West Germany represents the historically significant process of Protestant Reformation in a surprising way. As a person of non-Christian group of people, I enjoyed the film directed by Irving Pichel, who was one of the best revealers of extremely crucial religious and political shift in the history of Europe. According to IMDb, the film has gained valuable nominations including Oscar for cinematography and art-decoration. From my perspective, it is indeed so, because while watching the video it is not so hard to dive into the atmosphere of the black and white film with its almost perfectly detailed decoration. Passing to the scenario and audio, it was sometimes unclear what characters were talking about, but by rewatching the film I hope most of the dialogues became understandable. The biography of inspiring Martin Luther, that was shot in the film, clearly explains how the dynamics of religious practices and beliefs have changed with influence o questioning the Catholic church and the one more significant consequence is that it directly influenced the political system in the Roman Empire. Although the film has some untold stories connected to the Martin Luther, it should be considered as one of the main sources to understand the Protestant Reformation that influenced both belief and politics in Europe in 15th and 16th centuries.

Young and energetic law student Martin Luther might always have been searching for the absolute truth, the purpose of the life and his life mission and starts it in the way of Christianity probably because the church at those times had absolute power as they claim gained from divine doctrine. In fact, his curiosity made him one of the leading monks in the church, but in his mind, he blamed himself for not loving the God, as the fathers claimed they must. Nevertheless, I was surprised that he did not stop his education and practices just because of the absence of pure love, but rather started learning more and more. As the Holy Bible was written only in Latin, that few monks understand fully even not considering other people, Martin started learning Latin and translating to German, which was way more commonly used. In the way of becoming Dr Luther, he worked hard and worked on his faith only. His main goal was his faith and destiny, not planned revolution by religious education.

"Sola Fide" was his doctrine in short, but it had long lasted "war" history against Luther. His journey to the battle of the truth starts with the indulgence made by fryer Tetzel in the early 16th century. The purpose of the indulgence in literal meaning was selling for the forgiveness or in other words heaven trade, where people have demanded money for the forgiveness of all sins in return. Saxons at that time were deeply convinced that God has given divine dual authority to church and king, so they can decide and interfere people's current life and hereafter. Words of Tetzel "full forgiveness for all sins, absolution for all punishments" sounds just as a promotion of the super innovated product. But the reality is that as Luther says, "they put a hole in His drum, you cannot buy God's mercy", meaning that no one, except God, can judge, forgive and make decisions about man's destiny. The play in God of the local authorities pushed Luther to write his debut doctrine called "95 Thesis" in 1517, that he nailed on the door of the church, but people did not really read it, because they thought they can reach salvation only by performing what church has told. Even though the thesis was written in German, which was commonly used by other, people ignore it in the beginning. King even says, "letters have no trouble in Germany", meaning that people will not understand anyway. Nevertheless, everything comes out unexpectedly in a different way. Luther's doctrine questioning the dual authority, which was not supported by the scripture, diffuses to whole Roman land by causing paradox among the population because the paper was denying the whole Catholic practice that Christians perform by accepting it right. Some people start to compare Luther to Hus, who was blamed for heresy and prosecuted later. However, Martin Luther succeeds in his revolt because of the printing invention that multiplied the amount of the doctrine and even further was translated into various languages. In one scene we can see that one person explaining the story from the paper to ordinary people who used to obey to church only, which shows that people started being interested in the debate and start their way to the conscience.

Even though Martin Luther has succeeded in establishing the truth according to the scripture, the film does not show his preference for the aristocracy. The faith only doctrine, stating that man need only the faith and by it, he can rich salvation, influenced the revolt of peasants who thought that aristocrats are those they should blame, that in the result hundreds of them have died. According to the lecture, when that happen Luther prefers aristocrats supporting him and orders to kill those peasants, but in the film, he is represented as a merciful priest explaining to them that their religion is a religion of love. In general, even it might have some unrelated scenes, the film is suitable as a history of Martin Luther, Protestant doctrine because the story, in general, has not been changed comparing to other sources.
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10/10
Protestant Reformation
aidanaabsattar21 October 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Martin Luther is a documentary movie filmed by Irving Pichel with the support of the Lutheran Church. This film is about the life of the German priest who decided to give up his study of law (even if he was succeeded in that) in order to devote himself into the monastic life. At that time, the whole power in the Roman Empire was divided between the Emperor and the local Catholic Church. Even if he fully devoted his life into the Church and followed all strict rules of the religious doctrine he confessed that he could not love a God. Consequently, his mentor wanted to expel him from the Church, but Catholic theologian Staupitz convinced the Church further strict study will help to find Luther's way to love God. Staupitz was one of the first people in Luther's live with whom he argued the issue of the indulgence. The issue of giving the indulgence by the Church for the money led to the economic decline among both rich and poor people. So, the Martin Luther was against this type of the indulgence as he thought that Church abuses their authority and seeks only their profit in order to become a superior power. Because of this contradiction to his belief, he decided to find his own way to love and believe in God. Later on, after his excommunication from the Church, Martin Luther came to the conclusion that people can find their way attain the faith on God only when they will be able to read and understand the Bible. Therefore, he decided to translate the whole Bible into the German language. Through this Bible, he came to the conclusion that people do not need the Church. The only crucial thing for people should be their faith solely on Jesus Christ. After rejecting the authority of the Church, he decided to continue his study, but for that time as a theologist. At the beginning of the XVI century, he took a degree of Doctor and as a result makes a decision to became a teacher. Moreover, at that times Martin Luther wrote his set of doctrine called "The Ninety-Five Theses" that aimed to convince people to reject the authority of the Church and find own way to attain a faith through the Bible. In order to share his doctrine with other Christians, he nailed it to the door of the Catholic Church. Through teaching and his "The Ninety-Five theses", he has begun to spread his ideology throughout the Holy Roman Empire. These interrelated events led to the emergence of the new branch of Christianity - Protestantism. The ideas of Protestantism founded by Martin Luther fully rejects the ideas of Catholic Church that were mostly based on the clergy, meditation, and monasticism. In the movie, it was displayed through the scenes where Martin Luther was burning all books in that there was written the rules of Catholic churches. Overall, the cinematography was not impressing as it was an old movie that was filmed when the overall cinematography was not fully developed. The quality of video and audio was to some extent poor and sometimes it was hard to understand some dialogue and visuals. On the other hand, the symbolism and the content of the visuals were really outstanding and perfectly suits the overall content of this movie. Moreover, the black and white colors and old-fashioned music displays the documentary mood of this movie. In addition, the cast of this film was a surprisingly good even if in that times the art of acting was not popular enough in order to have such highly skilled actors that perfectly convey emotions of characters. At the moments when I noticed that the movie was filmed with the support of the Lutheran Church, I was quite skeptical about this movie. I thought that this movie was created in order to propagate the beliefs of this Church and spread its ideology all over the world. However, at the first scenes of this movie, it was clarified that the scenario was based on the facts extracted from the research done by theological scholars Theodore Tappet and Jaroslav Pelikan that were the honorable Professors of Ivy league. As for me, this film was a really good source of knowledge about the history of the Christianity.
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8/10
Perfect representation of Lutheran Church's ideals
nurlanmukazhanov21 October 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Martin Luther is one of the significant figures in Christian history. He was a German monk who played key role in Protestant reformation which begun in 16th century. He made a doubt in traditional roman Catholicism which finally lead to split and creation Lutheran church. In the following movie, we can see the life of this great person and the picture of world where and when he lived. It is important to know that movie was produced by Lutheran Church Production, so this is how Lutherians see his life. In this film, Luther is person who think with his own mind and brave enough to go against traditional Roman Catholicism. Starting from the very beginning of the film, we were introduced with fact that at his time it was common believe that all human beings are full of sins. So, if do not do something with it you go to hell. In that moment, church had tradition of indulgencies. Any person can pay some price in order to let go of sins. This kind of system led to economical division. Martin Luther was against such kind of traditions. In his trip to holy city, Rome, he was introduced with traditional ceremonies of Roman Catholicism. Luther opposed such kind of symbols, rituals and system of rule. He claims that God should be close to people. People should be able to directly connect to God, not by Church. In one of the dialogues in this movie, he was asked, what should fill emptiness that would be created if we take of all those rituals, symbols and traditions. Luther answered that man need only faith and Jesus Christ. By this dialogue we can clearly see his main idea about concept of true faith. Man don't need priest to be close to God, the divinity of pop should be rejected. Going back to issues about indulgencies, church used their ideas to make profit from common people fears and lack of education. There was interesting moment in the film where Luther was asked what would happen if common people will read holy text by his own and interpret it by his own. Martin answered that there would be more Christians. By this moment we can see that Martin Luther believed that every person should be able to read Bible and be close to God. In order to do that, he translated Bible into German language, so everybody will have chance to read it in their own language. As it can be seen in the movie Martin wrote articles and books, so spreading them would help people. He went further and wrote ninety-five theses where he opposes Catholic Church. In this work, we can see basis of new flow of Christianity, Protestantism. Most of these doctrines contradict with traditional Roman Catholicism. As it was previously sad, traditional Roman Catholicism is built on a basis of system where priests are connection between men and God. Martin Luther rejected this kind of system and build the one where system based not on saints but on Scripture. There is a moment in the movie when Luther as a symbol of rejection burned books and texts which supported the power of Pope in presence of spectators. Such an action is a symbol of protest against divinity of Pope. In conclusion, this movie is a good representation of Martin Luther's life and world where he lived. The film clearly indicated the position of traditional Roman Catholicism, as a system which is based on power of priests and divinity of Pope. Church overused their privilege and used luck of education of ordinary people in order to gain profit. As it was sad it was common believe that humanity is full of evil and in order to clear yourself you should pay some money to church. Martin Luther rejected these ideals and tried to create possibility for ordinary people to read Bible and become closer to God without help of Church. Eliminating intermediate between person and God and creation condition for true faith was main idea of Martin Luther. Writing text and books that support those ideal and translation Bible into German, spreading those works was made in order to reach those goals. Those ideals finally created new flow in Christianity named Lutheran Church. This Church is based on idea "by grace alone through faith alone on the basis of Scripture alone". This is different from Catholic Church where authority comes from not only the Scripture but also Traditions. In overall, as a movie created by Lutheran Church Production, this picture is perfect representation of ideals that they stand for. In my opinion, because of that this film became on sided and created idealistic picture of Martin Luther. Despite of this, this picture is perfect for understanding the ideas on which Lutheran Church is based on.
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9/10
The Man That Didn't Want To Split The Church
aruzhansaparbayeva21 October 2018
Warning: Spoilers
"Martin Luther" is a biographical movie that gives insight into one of the schisms in the history of the Christianity - the Protestant Reformation. It was initiated by the German priest and theologist Martin Luther. Produced by RD-DR Corporation, Lutheran Church Productions and Luther-Film-G.M.B.H., the movie was released in 1953. It was the fourth best movie of 1953 according to the National Board of Review and nominated for two Academy Awards for the Best Cinematography and Art Direction/Set Decoration (1). The movie portrayed the story of Martin Luther from a student of Law School at the University of Erfurt to a historical figure in the Church. There were different episodes demonstrating the attitude and views of Luther towards the faith and salvation. The events took place in 16th century Rome Empire ruled by Pope Leo X and Emperor Charles V. The predecessor of the Leo X had lied the foundation of the St. Peter's cathedral. So, Pope was gathering resources for the construction via releasing indulgences. This fact became important as a trigger for spreading the Luther's doctrine. From the beginning of his monastic life, Luther was seeking something missing. As he confessed later, his "unpardonable sin" was not loving the God. This state of search brought Luther to the Scriptures. At that time, his interpretations were considered radical, particularly because they did not correspond to those of the Church. For example, one of the scenes in the movie, when Martin Luther encountered a drunk man who told him that his sins were forgiven as he had spent good money on the indulgences had triggered a cascade of important events. Luther tried to deliver to people the idea that "when indulgencies are peddled, bartered and sold - this is not a salvation, this is a damnation of the soul". In short, his point was that people "cannot buy God's mercy". Luther explicitly put his reply into Ninety Five Theses written in Latin and nailed into the church door. It became the most read and printed writing that time in Germany. These actions rose conflict in which the emperor and Pope accused Luther of introducing new heretic dogma. Luther's dogma gathered numerous followers and profound changes were introduced. For instance, marriage of nuns and monks, and translation of Bible into German. So, the main difference of Luther's position and Catholic Church became the authority of Pope, with Luther's being "We must serve God, not people". In the first place, the story of a man who brought changes into Church left very empowering impression. From my perspective, the movie very accurately represented fundamental principles of the Protestant Church by drifting the plot around central ideas - God's mercy cannot be bought and the ultimate truth lies in Scriptures. For instance, during the debates at Leipzig, Luther interfered the authority of Pope, for which he was proclaimed a heretic. Moreover, his senior, the vicar general, released his vows as Augustinian monk. Nonetheless, Martin Luther took a stand on his beliefs regarding the indulgencies and Pope's authority. Whole story, accompanied with appropriate music, decorations, clothing, cast's and production team's work immersed into the atmosphere of the Germany in 16th century. The white and black cinematography brought seriousness and drama to the picture. Dramatic music, especially during dialogues of Luther with the vicar, emperor and mass made his every word sound. Niall McGinnis starring Luther delivered confusion with value of symbols, Pope and indulgences, and persistence in views that he believed to be the truth with a convincing genuineness. I still remember the facial expression of Luther (Niall McGinnis) when he refused to retract his writing and tried delivering what he thought to be true to the Emperor Charles V. In addition, I would like to bring attention to the script of the movie. The lines of Luther, Frederick, Pope, Emperor and the vicar conveyed their position regarding the Church and politics as well as their emotions. Moreover, they were catchy, impressing and convincing. Above the cinema scenes, there different pictures with narration of the events not only of Luther's life, but also of Germany and the Empire at that period of time. This allowed to relate all of the portrayed events and see what where the effects of the actions of a just one man. Aside such a powerful plot, decorations, script, music and cast, the movie had minor historical inconsistencies. For instance, the movie said that the man who bought the indulgences was not required to confess. In the reality, however, one who bought the indulgences for oneself must confess. Still, the movie had a great consistency with significant historical dates. Furthermore, the flow of the portrayed events facilitated the overall perception. Finally, it was inspiring and empowering to watch a man that did not give up on his believes and faith, who was not scared of authority and led the mass.
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9/10
Faith is not enough without love
zhaniyasazanova21 October 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Martin Luther is a 1953 biography movie about the formation of reformist identity of Martin Luther. The movie demonstrates the life and the main philosophy of Martin Luther about religion. As this is a biography film, it encompasses the character traits and features of the reformist. What is significant, is that the movie tells the story of how the different reasons step-by-step caused Martin Luther to aberrate the religious rituals of the Holy Roman Church. Regarding the plot, movie begins with Martin graduating the University in the major of law and becoming a priest in Augustinian Order. In 16th century, according to the movie, the church required strict obedience from people. That is why, Martin Luther, as a friar, had submitted to the Holy Church as others. Movie shows that Martin had doubts in the soul and could not find the peace within a soul from the beginning of his monastic life. Initial stumble at Church rituals began when Martin Luther confessed to another priest by uncovering the doubts of his soul, by telling that he could not love God and proclaimed this as an 'unpardonable sin'. Luther's doubts only increased in its nature when he was sent to Rome and saw how the Church suggested indulgencies for visiting Holy Places. This was the turning point of Martin's thoughts, as he started to believe that the people and laymen should interpret the Bible and Holy Scriptures by themselves to have sincere faith in their souls. The plot of the movie demonstrates the life changes of Martin Luther by coinciding them with the reformist ideas' appearance. Thus, the particular events had influenced Martin in strengthening his thoughts. For instance, it is seen how the certain procedure makes Martin Luther doubting the symbolic meaning of the priests' acquisitions and thinks it only exacerbates the Holy Truths and sacred meaning of the faith. He highlights the symbolization as "the crutches to uphold the tottering faith rather than the symbol of devotion to God". In 1511 Luther obtains a degree as a Doctor of Theology and becomes a teacher. He has another argument with others by suggesting that it is the faith which is the most important in religion, and all the relics and other features are not significant to the true faith. Luther's ideas formulated on a solid ground that only Christ and the faith are dominating in the Christianity - "Man only needs Jesus Christ" and "People should leave solely by faith". Another major point that infixed Luther's thoughts is the fact that Holy Roman Church started to sell indulgencies to acquire money for building of St. Peters Cathedral. Martin Luther opposed the idea of selling indulgencies because he claimed that it is not supported by the Scripture. After proclaiming that the true Christians do not need to obtain indulgencies, Roman Church excommunicated him, though it did not stop Martin from comparing Church doctrines to the Holy Scripture. It is also significant that Martin Luther was compared to Jan Hus, who had been burned at stake and proclaimed as heretic in 1415. Jan Hus was one of the founders of the Hussite movement, and Luther suggested that despite he does not support Hussitism, he had some common ideas with the Hussites - idea of one universal church. "I have a right to believe freely and to be a slave for no man's authority. No one has authority over my conscience." In 1521 he appeared before the Diet and was obliged to retract from his writings. However, Luther refuses to do so, and tells that Truths is only written in the Holy Scripture, not proclaimed by the Pope. Martin Luther is demonstrated as a strong personality who wished to find the truth in the Holy Scripture and God's teachings. His break from Catholicism highlighted the initiation of the reformation. There are dramatic moments of his speech, which emphasized the core reformist ideas. The nailing of 95 Theses to the castle door is also demonstrated in the movie. Also, the Holy Roman Church is shown as the corrupt institution. Movie shows Church as the one which needs to gain money to build cathedrals, to recover from financial crisis and other. The movie shows the chronological events, the historical settings and events, such as the noticeable comparison with the Hussite reformist Jan Hus, as well as there is good music background. What I liked about the film is that it is more a documentary movie rather than biographical art film. This means that the narration is shown without any fantastic features which boosts imagination and impresses the audience. Historical part is given much attention and the actors are playing very earnestly. "Heresy! So be it...it is still the Truth". Thus, this movie should be paid considerable attention.
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10/10
Why did Martin Luther oppose indulgences?
galiya-2510818 October 2018
Martin Luther is a Christian theologian, initiator of the Reformation, translator of the Bible into German, founder of Protestantism and of the evangelical Lutheran church. In the film he was represented as persistent, principled, forceful, fearless, purposeful, brave and confident priest who fought for justice, rights of the people and true faith. All of his actions and achievements were driven and initiated by increase of indulgencies in 16th century. This resulted in economic oppression of the ruling classes and impoverishment of the layman. However, the reasons of Martin Luther being motivated to oppose indulgencies are deception of the church for the unscrupulous profit, strict adherence to bible verses and belief that Catholicism as the power of the antichrist. Martin Luther considered that Roman Catholic church abused its position everywhere by giving indulgencies for money which resulted in a crises of faith. There is no doubt that the most common deception by church at that time was to ask indulgence for profits and convince that soul would surely go to heaven and, as a result, all sins would be forgiven. In 16th century the church unscrupulously profited from the stupidity and ignorance of common people. The popular movement of asking money by church caused an increase in general indignation in Europe. The movie shows that trading indulgencies with a shameless profit was the main cause to start struggle and oppression with the Catholic church. I think that the main idea of the Martin Luther's theses was to show that the priests are not intermediaries between God and man, and that church representatives should not only set an example of true Christians. Martin Luther refuted the divinity of the pope's personality, which was showed in a movie during Luther's discussion with Johann Ekk. The movie also clearly showed that he rejected church by showing his negative attitude toward the most of the sacraments, symbols, angels, the worship of icons, holy relics and questioned the authority of church activities by saying that: "man saves the soul not through the Church, but through faith". Another reason of Martin Luther being opposed to the indulgencies was his strong faith in God and strong adherence to the words of the Bible that contradicted what the church did at that time. According to Martin Luther, remission of sins and salvation are only possible with the help of true faith, not through indulgences and other church activities. For the reformer, God was more than the crucified Christ. All ways of salvation are only based in the personal faith of man to God. By following to the rules and verses of the scripture, Martin Luther claimed on the right of freedom of religion, faith, thoughts, morality and consciousness. Therefore, he translated the scripture to German and claimed that every person has a right to read Bible in his or her own language. The movie also showed how he referred constantly to the verses of Bible and tries to spread it by writing books and publishing articles. He wanted to show that the Bible is open and accessible to everyone in any language. It is not required to learn ancient sophisticated language in order to know the truth. The third reason of Martin Luther rejecting indulgencies is his belief that Catholicism is the power of antichrist. He "created 95 theses against indulgences posting on the doors of the Wittenberg Castle Church that were directed against the Catholic Church". They contained the important views of his new religious doctrine that developed to Protestantism, which rejected the basic tenets of Catholicism. Luther rejected the Catholic idea of the need for the mediation of the church and Pope between man and God. Particularly, "he rejected Catholic monasticism, the celibacy of the clergy, the cult of the saints". "The true ways of salvation and service to God are not in leaving the world, but in serving the world". In addition, "Luther rejected the authority of the papal decrees and demanded the restoration of the authority of Scripture". The movie shows how Martin Luther burnt books, papers with its canonical laws and special rules supporting the authority of Pope in the presence of many people. This Luther's action was done in the name of God for helping people to reach the truth. I think that Luther proved on the basis that was written in the Bible that the rule of Antichrist was fulfilled in the rule of the Papal Rome. In conclusion, Martin Luther made a great contribution in the understanding of the true faith and abolishment of indulgences. However, there are three reasons that made him to oppose indulgencies. The first is manipulation by the Catholic Church to get profits. The second reason is a strict adherence to bible verses and strong faith to a God. The third reason is a belief that Catholicism is the power of the antichrist.
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10/10
Why did Martin Luther oppose indulgences?
galiya-2510818 October 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Martin Luther is a Christian theologian, initiator of the Reformation, translator of the Bible into German, founder of Protestantism and of the evangelical Lutheran church. In the film he was represented as persistent, principled, forceful, fearless, purposeful, brave and confident priest who fought for justice, rights of the people and true faith. All of his actions and achievements were driven and initiated by increase of indulgencies in 16th century. This resulted in economic oppression of the ruling classes and impoverishment of the layman. However, the reasons of Martin Luther being motivated to oppose indulgencies are deception of the church for the unscrupulous profit, strict adherence to bible verses and belief that Catholicism as the power of the antichrist. Martin Luther considered that Roman Catholic church abused its position everywhere by giving indulgencies for money which resulted in a crises of faith.. There is no doubt that the most common deception by church at that time was to ask indulgence for profits and convince that soul would surely go to heaven and, as a result, all sins would be forgiven. In 16th century the church unscrupulously profited from the stupidity and ignorance of common people. The popular movement of asking money by church caused an increase in general indignation in Europe. The movie shows that trading indulgencies with a shameless profit was the main cause to start struggle and oppression with the Catholic church. I think that the main idea of the Martin Luther's theses was to show that the priests are not intermediaries between God and man, and that church representatives should not only set an example of true Christians. Martin Luther refuted the divinity of the pope's personality, which was showed in a movie during Luther's discussion with Johann Ekk. The movie also clearly showed that he rejected church by showing his negative attitude toward the most of the sacraments, symbols, angels, the worship of icons, holy relics and questioned the authority of church activities by saying that: "man saves the soul not through the Church, but through faith". Another reason of Martin Luther being opposed to the indulgencies was his strong faith in God and strong adherence to the words of the Bible that contradicted what the church did at that time. According to Martin Luther, remission of sins and salvation are only possible with the help of true faith, not through indulgences and other church activities. For the reformer, God was more than the crucified Christ. All ways of salvation are only based in the personal faith of man to God. By following to the rules and verses of the scripture, Martin Luther claimed on the right of freedom of religion, faith, thoughts, morality and consciousness. Therefore, he translated the scripture to German and claimed that every person has a right to read Bible in his or her own language. The movie also showed how he referred constantly to the verses of Bible and tries to spread it by writing books and publishing articles. He wanted to show that the Bible is open and accessible to everyone in any language. It is not required to learn ancient sophisticated language in order to know the truth. The third reason of Martin Luther rejecting indulgencies is his belief that Catholicism is the power of antichrist. He "created 95 theses against indulgences posting on the doors of the Wittenberg Castle Church that were directed against the Catholic Church". They contained the important views of his new religious doctrine that developed to Protestantism, which rejected the basic tenets of Catholicism. Luther rejected the Catholic idea of the need for the mediation of the church and Pope between man and God. Particularly, "he rejected Catholic monasticism, the celibacy of the clergy, the cult of the saints". "The true ways of salvation and service to God are not in leaving the world, but in serving the world". In addition, "Luther rejected the authority of the papal decrees and demanded the restoration of the authority of Scripture". The movie shows how Martin Luther burnt books, papers with its canonical laws and special rules supporting the authority of Pope in the presence of many people. This Luther's action was done in the name of God for helping people to reach the truth. I think that Luther proved on the basis that was written in the Bible that the rule of Antichrist was fulfilled in the rule of the Papal Rome. In conclusion, Martin Luther made a great contribution in the understanding of the true faith and abolishment of indulgences. However, there are three reasons that made him to oppose indulgencies. The first is manipulation by the Catholic Church to get profits. The second reason is a strict adherence to bible verses and strong faith to a God. The third reason is a belief that Catholicism is the power of the antichrist.
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8/10
A Man Who Changed Religion Forever
fullheadofsteam7 January 2016
The fact that this film is historically accurate is a given, but as any film, it is incomplete as to the entire life of Martin Luther. While it disregards his flawed later life, it properly focuses on the most important religious figure since the disciples and St. Paul. Specifically, Martin Luther did, as portrayed in this very good film, identify Roman Catholic theology and practices which had no Biblical foundation. And again, as accurate, the movie shows us that he did not intend to undermine or leave the Roman Catholic Church, but rather to bring it into a more Godly practice according to holy scripture. While other reviews on this site point out that the movie neglected the latter Luther life that ranted against Jews, the fact is that every holy Biblical person except Jesus himself was flawed as well -- From Moses down to David, Solomon, and later, Peter and Paul, so human flaws need not be the point when focusing on the man who changed major organized religion forever, partially by his own Biblical study and partially by the reaction of the Roman Catholic hierarchy, which is not unlike the politicized Jewish hierarchy of Jesus' time. The film also importantly includes the fact that Martin Luther thought it important for ordinary German Christians to understand the church rites and the Bible in their own language, which they could not understand in Latin. The Roman Catholic constructs of indulgences (the forgiveness of sins by monetary contributions to the church), the intercession of dead religious figures named saints by the Catholic church, the necessity for confession to a priest, and salvation through human endeavors and achievements alone, and finally the infallibility of the Pope, were all challenged by Luther and ultimately formed the foundation of a worldwide religious reformation, and the fact that this movie focuses on such importance, with brilliant acting, makes this a must-see picture.
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9/10
A Most Unusual Film Noir
JohnHowardReid15 April 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Although totally financed by the Lutheran Church, this is no cheapjack production like similar church-sponsored Hollywood efforts. One of the world's greatest cinematographers, Joseph Brun, was engaged, as were two of Germany's finest art directors. No less a person than Louis de Rochemont, the founder of docu-drama and a leading (if not the leading) influence on Hollywood's film noir movies of the 1940s, was hired as supervising producer. Although the screenplay tends to over-concentrate on the vexed question of indulgences and to present its hero as a man with no flaws but a noirishly besetting over-concern for God's truth and the welfare of His people, the writers admirably attempt to shed some favorable light on Luther's adversaries as well. They even make the point that it was never Luther's intention to found an opposing church but to correct Leo X's papal abuses and thus reform the Holy Roman (i.e. the Catholic) Church. In fact, Protestantism is presented primarily as an attempt to check Leo's political and cultural ambitions. The question of Scripture as the foundation of faith is obviously not equally important in the movie's eyes, but a secondary consideration. (This is, of course, one way of avoiding the question, What is Scripture?, and noting the rather unpleasant but undeniable fact that – unknown to Luther – the Scriptural texts he based all his theology upon were somewhat corrupt).
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