After winning two highly coveted film festival awards and press coverage in North America, a newly-released movie about the final years in the life of the German theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, is building a strong international following. The film, Bonhoeffer: An Agent of Grace, was released in mid-June in North America and will be screened in European cinemas from the end of this month.The story of the Lutheran cleric, who along with other Germans opposed Adolf Hitler and was hanged in prison in April 1945, has won the Best Film Award at the Monte Carlo International Film Festival and an award at the Munich International Film Festival.The Aid Association for Lutherans (AAL), an investment and insurance organization based in Appleton, in the US state of Wisconsin, initiated, developed and underwrote the movie, which was screened here on 14 June on the Public Broadcast System television network. Almost four million viewers watched the film, which is being promoted as the story of "a Christian theologian who gave his life to save Jewish people and one who opposed his own church in its support of Hitler."Dennis Clauss, a senior executive for AAL in charge of church relations, said his company wanted to produce a movie for a mass audience - not a documentary, and not a movie for traditional Christian television."We wanted it to be on network television," Clauss told ENI. "We wanted to get this into the mainstream. We had been approached for at least 20 years by people who wanted to do a film on Bonhoeffer. By mid-1995 we got serious about a made-for-television movie."The result is a US$3.25 million international production focusing on Bonhoeffer's faith and sacrifice."Very early we made the decision that the film would have ...1
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