"If your opponent has a conscience, then follow Gandhi and nonviolence. But if your enemy has no conscience like Hitler, then follow Bonhoeffer." --- Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
BONHOEFFER, a feature length documentary portrait of German theologian and resistance fighter Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-45), will premiere in Chicago March 28-April 3 at the Gene Siskel Film Center, School of the Art Institute, 164 N. State St.
A pastor, pacifist and Nazi resister, Bonhoeffer was one of the most relevant and influential religious figures of the modern era. Impressed by the activist Black Abyssinian Church in Harlem, he began to question his own church's lack of social and political engagement. While the German Protestant establishment was kowtowing to Hitler, Bonhoeffer was an outspoken opponent of Nazism and anti-Semitism. After taking refuge in America, he returned to Germany to join the ill-fated bomb plot against Hitler.
A specialist in tackling thorny moral issues, Producer Martin Doblmeier (THOMAS JEFFERSON: A VIEW FROM THE MOUNTAIN, BERNARDIN) captures not only Bonhoeffer's dramatic life and challenging ideas but also his struggles with his own weaknesses and the question of justified violence. Rare archival footage and photographs accompany Bonhoeffer's words (voiced by Klaus Maria Brandauer), together with interviews with his family, students, resistance comrades, and current admirers (including Archbishop Desmond Tutu).
Screening times for the Chicago premiere of Bonhoeffer are: Friday (March 28) and Monday-Thursday (March 31-April 3) at 6:15 and 8:15 p.m. Saturday (March 29) at 4:15 p.m. and 8:15 p.m., and Sunday (March 30) at 4:15 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. For additional information call the Gene Siskel Film Center at (312) 846-2800.