Luther (2003)

Film reviews are subjective. I tend to rate films not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.
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Luther

Luther (2003) from Eikon Film
Rated PG-13. Drama, History/Biography, Faith Theme, War/Epic

Four Silver Stars1/2

Description (from the film case): Joseph Fiennes stars as Martin Luther, the brilliant man of God whose defiant actions changed the world, in this “epic, ravishingly beautiful” (The New York Times) film that traces Luther’s extraordinary and exhilarating quest for the people’s liberation.

Regional princes and the powerful Church wield a fast, firm and merciless grip on 16th-century Germany. But when Martin Luther issues a shocking challenge to their authority, the people declare him their new leader–and hero. Even when threatened with violent death, Luther refuses to back down, sparking a bloody revolution that shakes the entire continent to its core.

My thoughts: ‎I appreciate Fiennes’s portrayal of Martin Luther as a man of passion and conviction as well as doubt and inner agony. The film takes an intriguing look at Church history as well as quite a look, though not always a pretty one, at how human beings just…are, sometimes. Even with its obvious faith theme, I wouldn’t put the movie in the genre of “faith films,” though I think it has much for faith film lovers as well as epic and historical movie fans to enjoy.

My corresponding reading: Concerning Christian Liberty (or On Christian Liberty) by Martin Luther and Luther and Katharina by Jody Hedlund.

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Luther and Katharina by Jody Hedlund

historical-books

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. Blogging for Books provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for an honest review.
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Five Gold Stars

Luther and KatharinaLuther and Katharina by Jody Hedlund

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

So. It may not be completely fair to anticipate reading a book this much, as the book then has quite the expectations to meet. But when the book meets those expectations, meets them famously, and all the prior anticipation has been proven justified—ah, well, then!

In Luther and Katharina by author Jody Hedlund, the passionate man behind the tumultuous Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther, has numerous enemies to face both without and within the movement he’s roused. He could be captured and burned at the stake any day for his outcry against the abuses of the Church, but even so, one of his greatest fears is that he could fall in love, particularly with one tenacious former nun, Katharina von Bora.

I suspect that I might have felt a little lost when I first jumped into the novel if I hadn’t already been familiar with Luther’s story and this period in the Holy Roman Empire, but I was engrossed from the start. Admittedly, I was just a tad doubtful before I began, as the “Novel of Love and Rebellion” label on this book made it sound as if it might play out too much like a “rebellious, forbidden love affair” kind of romance novel. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case, though I would place the romance here on the steamier side of Christian Fiction. Some of the physical effects that Luther and Katharina have on each other become redundant deep into the novel, but their relationship is well-developed and wonderfully expressed overall.

While the author doesn’t shy away from the ugly aspects of the reformation, moments of endearing interaction between some of the characters and the personal growth of Luther and Katharina give the novel its redemptive quality. I’m sure many more historical ChristFic and romance readers will enjoy every minute of this novel as much as I did.