7 09 2008

AG and I watched the 2003 American film, Luther, on Saturday. This portrayal of the renegade monk who founded the Protestant movement was surprisingly fair, which was interesting because of its funding by Lutheran interests. Not only does it show the “big bad Papists” who hocked indulgences to feed the vices of the Roman clergy, but it also shows Luther as a mentally ill, moody, and overly scrupulous man who could not separate his own neuroses from the theology he preached. It also shows the violent aftermath of the religious wars that Luther’s moverment started, and it was quite accurate in revealing the laws of motion and turmoil involved in any revolutionary movement. Catholics will come away feeling that their reservations towards the Reformation are not unjustified, and Protestants will not come away feeling completely vindicated. Only a little blurb about religious freedom at the very end of the movie betrays its true interests, but it is nothing that can change the viewer’s sense of Luther as an unbalanced anti-hero.
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