1. This documentary left me flat. It is mostly interviews with contemporary scholars, and Luther’s theology is not the chief focus. Mostly the documentary focuses on Luther’s impact on his times and on history. Luther is shown / portrayed briefly in a few scenes, first as a monk, then as an old man riding in an oxcart and later on his deathbed.

    Better choices: Luther (2003) with Joseph Fiennes, Martin Luther (1953) with Niall MacGinnis, and Luther (1974) with Stacy Keach.
    Rating: 1 / 5

  2. This film is by far the best introduction to Martin Luther I have run across. If you want a deep philosophical look at Luther’s writing, then perhaps a book on the subject would be best. If you want to understand what caused him to write those infamous 95 complaints against a very corrupt Catholic church, buy this film. This PBS documentary shows Martin Luther the man. In it we learn that he gave up on the practice of law to become a monk after losing friends to the plague and having a near-death experience himself. We see the faith that drove him to make a pilgrimage to Rome only to be greeted by an economy based largely on the sale of forgiveness. We come to understand why the church was unable to silence him. We also see that he had his flaws. He shared the prejudice of his times and wanted nothing to do with the peasant class that would fuel the Protestant Reformation. In order to understand what someone has written we need to understand the world in which he lived. This film shows Martin Luther in context.
    Rating: 5 / 5

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