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Martin Luther (2002) Online

Martin Luther (2002) Online
Original Title :
Martin Luther
Genre :
Movie / Biography / Drama / History
Year :
Directror :
Cassian Harrison
Cast :
Liam Neeson,Timothy West
Writer :
Cassian Harrison,Lance Kneeshaw
Type :
Time :
1h 55min
Rating :
Martin Luther (2002) Online

Martin Luther is born into a world dominated by the Catholic Church. For the keenly spiritual Luther, the Church's promise of salvation is irresistible. Caught in a thunderstorm and terrified by the possibility of imminent death, he vows to become a monk. But after entering the monastery, Luther becomes increasingly doubtful that the Church can actually offer him salvation. His views crystallize further when he travels to Rome and finds the capital of Catholicism swamped in corruption. Wracked by despair, Luther finds release in the pages of the Bible, discovering that it is not the Church, but his own individual faith that will guarantee his salvation. With this revelation, he turns on the Church. He attacks its practice of selling Indulgences in his famous 95 Theses, putting himself on an irreversible path to conflict with the most powerful institution of the day. The Catholic Church uses all of its might to try to silence Luther, including accusations of heresy and excommunication....
Credited cast:
Liam Neeson Liam Neeson - Himself - Narrator (voice)
Timothy West Timothy West - Martin Luther

User reviews



This film is about Martin Luther, a simple monk who was able to have a greater impact on human history than anyone of his time. After years of serving as a monk, Luther's scholarship and questioning led to his realizing that many of the Church's practices were wrong (most notably the horrid practice of selling indulgences). How his questions posed in his 95 Theses is truly amazing, as his ideas snowballed.

I loved this PBS biography of Martin Luther and felt it did a great job of bringing a sense of greatness to the man. Using dramatic music and exceptional interviews, the director really did a first-rate job in conveying the message. I would have given the film a 10 but there was one big problem and one itty-bitty one. While there were lots of interviews with what appeared to be protestant clergy and historians, there was no modern Catholic view on the man. Despite what many think, many within the Church today actually have a lot of favorable things to say about the guy, as his writings later led to a Catholic revival--when they FINALLY agreed changes were needed--though this was long after Luther's death and way too late, as the Reformation was all but complete! I also wish the film had briefly discussed the chaos that followed Luther's death and this schism in Europe resulted in the amazingly bloody 30 Years War. Still, perhaps this was just too much material for the time allotted to the life of Luther.
Global Progression

Global Progression

I tried to watch PBS' "Martin Luther: PBS Empire Series" four or five times before I could get all the way through it. It is hateful anti- Catholic propaganda and it made me sick to my stomach.

I'm pro-choice. I'm actively gay friendly. I think I will encounter Jews and atheists in Heaven. I'm a feminist. I don't attend mass regularly. In short, I am hardly an orthodox Catholic. Even so, this documentary made me ill.

"Luther" walks the viewer through Catholic churches. As classic Catholic images appear on screen – candles, chalices, stained glass – horror movie music plays on the soundtrack. The viewer is shown images of a naked pope sharing bodily fluid (semen? mucus? I'm not sure) with horned Devils. Liam Neeson's authoritative voice – this is the Liam Neeson who saved Jews in "Schindler's List," who rescued his daughter from slavery in "Taken," who faced off with wolves in "The Grey" – Liam Neeson's authoritative voice informs the viewer that, without qualification, the Catholic Church is corrupt, exploitative, false, and evil.

The Catholic Church is described as completely divorced from the wider population of Europe. In fact Europe itself WAS the Catholic Church. Peasants were the Catholic Church. Nobility was the Catholic Church. Merchants were the Catholic Church. Protestants were the Catholic Church. Luther was a Catholic priest, John Calvin was prepared for the priesthood, and Henry VIII was a defender of the faith.

Contrary to PBS, the Catholic Church was not an alien, evil, Italian institution that had nothing to do with Europe. Protestantism began as a movement within the Catholic Church. If "the Church" condemned or supported this or that behavior, that's because pretty much everybody in Europe condemned or supported this or that behavior.

The Catholic Church is described as being all powerful. Yet Luther, who defied the Church, died of natural causes, an old man in bed. Apparently the Church was not as all powerful and oppressive as PBS insists.

PBS tells us that the Catholic Church controlled innocent Europeans through the sacraments. PBS tells us that it was a really wonderful thing when Luther "liberated" Europeans from the sacraments. Uh huh. Tell a teenage girl that she can never marry – that she needs to be "liberated" from her wedding day. Absurd. Scholars like van Gennep and Victor Turner have described how rites inscribe belief and enrich lives. People want their sacraments.

PBS gets its message across, not just with Liam Neeson's narration, but with scholarly talking heads. These talking heads were the least charismatic talking heads I've ever seen. Miri Rubin was hardest to take, harder even than big-forehead-man with scary looking teeth, or receding-hair-mole-man who insisted that no one before Luther was an individual.

Rubin is excruciatingly self-dramatizing. She whispered. She raised her voice like a roller coaster. She made eyes at the interviewer. She wriggled her eyebrows. She thus, in cheap opera heroine fashion, communicated that the Catholic Church was just a big joke. Apparently Rubin focuses on anti-Semitism. An important focus. But is that all there is to say about Catholicism? It's fake and anti-Semitic.

I've traveled the world. People ask me my favorite destination. The ONE place I would return to is not the Taj Mahal, is not Jerusalem, is not the African rain forest or the desert. The ONE place I would go back to is Chartres Cathedral. Chartres Cathedral is a product of medieval Catholicism. Nothing that is mere corruption could have produced the most sublime place I have ever been.

During the Enlightenment, some wanted to obliterate Chartres Cathedral. Stone masons, forfending this abomination, argued "It would take us years to clear the rubble from the streets." Thus saving Chartres Cathedral from anti-Catholic campaigners who were blind to the sublime.

Who will save Chartres Cathedral from the bomb throwers at PBS?

Nazis quoted Luther's writing on Jews to justify their slaughters. Peasants were inspired by the Reformation to rise up against their noble exploiters. Luther knew that if the peasants had their way, his protectors would be shaken. Luther urged the nobles to "whip, choke, hang, burn, behead and torture (peasants), that they may learn to fear the powers that be…A peasant is a hog, for when a hog is slaughtered it is dead, and in the same way the peasant does not think about the next life…stab them secretly and openly, as they can, as one would kill a mad dog." Erasmus estimates that a hundred thousand peasants were killed, with Luther's encouragement.

The documentary does mention these aspects of Luther's career, but briefly and as if they were … footnotes. Not essential. But they are essential. Luther was fond of hate speech, and spoke in the most violent and hateful way against Catholics. The wars between Protestants and Catholics that lasted for two hundred years, and the enmity that exists today, were sparked at least partly by Luther's intemperance.

Imagine this. You tune into PBS and see images of the interior of a mosque. You hear horror music, and Liam Neeson's powerful voice informs you, without any question or hesitance in his voice, that Islam is corrupt, exploitative, evil, and must be destroyed in order to save the Middle East. Would you not realize that you had entered an alternative universe?

Tell me then, why is it okay for PBS, a taxpayer funded broadcasting station, to peddle anti Catholic hatred like this?
Super P

Super P

The video comes across like a North Korean propaganda film: Our glorious leader was the best of all monks. He is nothing short than the cause of human freedom, itself. Our glorious leader was justified in founding his own religion because he was the most spiritual person of his age. You think I am exaggerating? At one point the narration actually calls Luther, "this monk who had been the Church's most devoted servant..." Really, where is the evidence that he was ever even simply a committed Catholic, much less a devoted servant, much less her most devoted servant?

Since Luther's 95 thesis are mostly fair questions concerning the abuses of indulgences that were going on at the time. The question of where Luther came in to conflict with the Church must lie elsewhere. I suspect that it was the combination of political intrigue combined with Luther's other writings that lead to this conflict. The Thesis' only role was in spreading the Luther's notoriety. However the program plays fast and loose with the truth. Sacraments are cunningly referred to as rituals giving a false impression about their true nature. If you don't already know you won't learn from this program that indulgences are only for the forgiveness of temporal punishments for already forgiven sins, which means that a sincere repentance would have already taken place. In fact this program does everything in its power to obscure what indulgences may or may not actually be. Considering this in light of the weight they put on Luther's thesis as the fulcrum of his career then it is absolutely diabolical that they would do this, and I mean that quit sincerely: if the devil were to defend his servant Martin Luther the results wouldn't likely be much different from this program.

Was Pope Leo X also a servant of Satan? Yes. Is this surprising? No, I don't believe it should surprise any Christian considering how far we saw evil enter even into the ranks of Christ's chosen apostles, themselves, at the beginning. However Christ has promised that His bride would be preserved despite the sins of men of like Judas Iscariot, Giovanni di Lorenzo de' Medici and Martin Luther. This being exactly the point in how the Father of Lies works in this world to visit fresh evils upon it. His minions gets into the heart of a man like Giovanni then through Martin Luther's indignation they get into his heart too only to play both sides against the middle. Who suffers? The world suffers as Christ's church is chipped away at the edges and reality, itself, becomes distorted. When you combine the so-called "reformation" with other philosophical movements like modernism, men lose all sense of moral direction and you have the type of carnage we call the the 20th century.

The image of people, like some medieval Cultural Revolution, storming into the churches to defile the images of the Saints, who are history's very instructional models for us on what piety looks like in actual practice, says everything one needs to know to understand who really was the true author of reformation. As we quickly approach 21st century's store of carnage the noise of more than 20,000 screaming and often hysterical voices of various Protestant "faiths" are drowning out John the Baptist's voice as his words can still be heard echoing through the ages.