Each month we invite a guest reviewer to suggest and review a book for us. The simple objective is that each book should encourage the reader in their walk with Christ.
Revd Willi Nesbitt is the Rector of St Johns, Greenock, where she has been Rector for just over year. Originally from Ireland, Willi came to our Diocese from the Diocese of Hereford.
…. Is a DVD!
Bonhoeffer – Agent of Grace’
Publisher: Gateway Films: 90mins
Price: Available from Amazon at prices for new and used ranging between £7.50 to £11.00. No doubt from other on-line retail sites.
This DVD was the winner of Monte Carlo Television Festival 2000.
This link to YouTube gives a summary of the movie.
The movie is, of course, a dramatized account of Bonhoeffer’s life and work, but appears to be quite faithful to his writings and to the known facts of his biography. Starting with the period leading up to the Second World War, we follow Bonhoeffer’s journey of faith and development; the important influence his visits to the USA and Britain had on these. And we also see the context of the effects of growing National Socialism (Nazism) on the German Church and the challenges of conscience these presented to Christians. The story reflects Bonhoeffer’s own conflicts, and personal bravery – and mediates some of his key theology quite effectively, in this accessible film. It is undoubtedly a favourable portrayal of Bonhoeffer, but a valuable starting point in raising the issues that confronted both individuals and church institutions during that violent time of the world’s history. And we might say that we continue to experience some of the same issues in our own time, where strident populism surrounding xenophobia and racism is fast replacing thoughtful politics and reasoned understanding. We find ourselves asking the question: what would we have done? One feels that with Bonhoeffer we have a Christian theologian who lived what he believed and who continues to speak to the believing heart in times of confusion and darkness.
The film is a quality production, easy to watch for its own sake, as well as for any other value it might have for the use of a study group, or as part of a series of studies. If used in that way the film is divided into chapters, easily accessible; and subtitles are an option. A thoughtful provocative resource for a group of seekers or believers.