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 Year after year, decade after decade, the star of Dietrich
Bonhoeffer seems to grow brighter and brighter. The impact of this
inspiring martyr of the church struggle in Germany and throughout
all of Europe in the decades of the 1930s and 1940s is most surely
undiminished in the early years of the 21st Century.
 The publication by Augsburg Fortress of seventeen volumes of
Bonhoeffer's writing continues unabated (six volumes are now in
print in English -- Life Together, Discipleship,
Creation and Fall, Act and Being, Fiction
from Prison, The Communion of Saints). These volumes
themselves should insure the ongoing and steady influence of
Bonhoeffer for decades to come.
 Significant also is the production of several films, both
documentary and novelish, which portray pictorially the life and
legacy of the German pastor - professor - resister - and martyr for
a global population, Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
 The documentary film, Bonhoeffer, produced by Martin
Doblmeier of Journey Films, Alexandria, Virginia, has been playing
to enthusiastic audiences across America. Seven years in the
making, the ninety minute production sets the life of Bonhoeffer in
a precise historical context. This is surely one of its primary
strengths, employing the use of ample footage from the days of the
Third Reich. The rising crescendo of Hitler's power, the remarkable
economic recovery from the ashes of World War I, the expansion of
the military in direct defiance of the Versailles Treaty, the
curtailing of civil rights, the oppression of the Jews, the
suppression of dissident voices, comprise the background screen for
the unfolding of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's life, as well as that of the
whole Bonhoeffer family and their contemporaries. Lively film clips
of the Bonhoeffers, as well as prominent church leaders such as
Karl Barth, Martin Niemoeller, Reinhold Niebuhr, Adam Clayton
Powell, Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, and Bishop
Wolfgang Huber of Berlin enrich the documentary throughout.
 The persons interviewed throughout the film represent a
kaleidoscope of "Bonhoeffer people." prominent among them are
members of the Bonhoeffer family:
Sabine Leibholz, Dietrich's twin sister
Marianne Leibholz, her daughter
Eberhard Bethge, Dietrich's best friend and biographer, married
to his niece Renate
Christopher von Dohnanyi, nephew
Ruth von Bismarck, sister of Maria, Dietrich's
 Several former students, now in their 90's share their
razor-sharp memories and impressions - Inge Sembritzki - Karding,
Albert Schönherr, Winfried Maechler, and Otto Dudzus. Also
shown is Dietrich's close French friend from his Union Theological
Seminary Days, Jean Lasserre. The roster of commentators represents
the core of Bonhoeffer scholars from Germany, South Africa, and the
United States: Geffrey B. Kelly, Clifford Green, Victoria Barnett,
Josiah Young, Christian Gremmels. Their comments serve to reveal
the profound facets of the Bonhoeffer story - his family and
educational background, his keen grasp of biblical and theological
truth, his discernment that the ideologies of Nazism and
Christianity were ultimately incompatible, his involvement in the
resistance movement, his two year prison confinement, climaxing in
his martyrdom in the Flossenbürg Concentration Camp.
 It was an unforgettable privilege to have been one of the
consultants to this film, including the experience of being just a
few feet away from the camera for several of the interviews.
Especially sharp is the memory of spending three days in the home
of Eberhard and Renate Bethge in Villiprott, Germany (near Bonn).
In his upper 80s, Dr. Bethge's step was slowing, his vitality
lessened, his speech sometimes somewhat blurred. When he was on
camera, however, for hours at a time, he spoke about his close
friend and confidante, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, with confidence, power
and liveliness. Since the film's completion, he has died at the age
of 90. Others who are no longer with us are Sabine Leibholz, Jean
Lasserre, and Otto Dudzus.
 I believe sincerely that Martin Doblmeier has done a yeoman's
job in producing this noteworthy film. It was no surprise to me
that when it showed in Chicago for a week in April, 2003 followed
by two weeks in July, it received a rating of 3.5 stars (out of 4).
Eventually, the film will be show on national PBS, and later will
become available in video cassette. Few viewers can see Bonhoeffer
without being profoundly moved!