Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Memories And Perspectives

DVD Release: June 28, 1983
Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Memories And Perspectives


For those who want a close and intimate portrait of Bonhoeffer, this video follows the life of the martyred theologian as vividly recalled by those closest to him: his friends, family, and students. Included are Bonhoeffer family photographs that have never been shown before.

Dove Review

This haunting documentary of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s life shares the story of the man, the pastor, who died because of his opposition to Adolf Hitler. Shown in biographical fashion, “Memories and Perspectives” features archive film and photographs, as well as comments from his sister, students, and friends. The film also features the story of his engagement to a woman named Maria, who searched for him after he was placed in a concentration camp.

Narrated by Oliver Osterberg, this documentary examines Bonhoeffer’s life, from the history of his birth — along with a twin sister, on February 4, 1906, in Germany — to the time of his death, by hanging, on April 9, 1945, at the age of 39. Bonhoeffer has been admired as a man who stood with the persecuted, a teacher who was a friend to his students, and as a lifelong student who was serious about his intellectual and Biblical studies, yet retained a sense of humor. The photographs and narration of the history of Germany during Hitler’s regime present a picture of a man who didn’t back down from his beliefs in following God, even when he had to endure hardship and suffering.

An American friend, Marion Lehmann, speaks of hearing about the posting of a list of the dead, and she says in the film, “I didn’t want to read that list, but there it was.” Friends heard on the radio of his death and felt the magnitude of his impact. He attended a black church in Harlem, New York, while he was in America and learned of their oppression, which troubled him. He was a Lutheran pastor, author, pianist and comforter to many people. This wonderful film, despite its moments of sadness, testifies to a man who believed Christ is the brother of all persecuted human beings, a friend to the tortured. We are honored to award this film our Faith Friendly 12+ Seal. Bonhoeffer’s legacy still lives on today, as we remember his faith and courage.

Content Description

Faith: None
Integrity: None
Sex: None
Language: A man, angry at Hitler's murders and plots, says, "D**n him" at one point.
Violence: Photographs of burning buildings, many comments about the pillaging, burning, destroying of shops and murders of people in concentration camps under Hitler's regime; the mention of a diplomat shot in Paris by a Jew.
Drugs: A comment about some people smoking.
Nudity: Shirtless and thin prisoner seen in photograph.
Other: The Anti-Semitism of Hitler and the Nazi party; the mention that Hitler thought of himself as a god; the suffering and persecution of Jews and pastors during Hitler's regime.


Company: Gateway Films / Vision Video
Director: Bain Boehlke
Genre: Documentary
Runtime: 90 min.
Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter