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Luther, a Film of the German Reformation
(Luther, ein Film der deutschen Reformation)

The nailing of the 95 theses onto the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg in 1517 marks the 500th Anniversary Martin Luther’s religious revolution. The presentation of the film LUTHER (Hans Kyser, 1927) in concert comes within the context of the Reformation Year and the recent restoration of this film conducted by the Bundesarchiv/Filmarchiv - Evangelische Bund in 2017. We are proud to present the film LUTHER in two versions: 

LUTHER, A FILM OF THE GERMAN REFORMATION (1927): the original 122 minutes restored film. This controversial film went through no less than four censorship processes at the time of its premiere. The recurring Leitmotiv of the censorship reports was the offensive depiction of the Catholic Church – a satiric portrait of greed and corruption that brings to mind some of Federico Fellini’s and Paolo Sorrentino’s wildest extravaganzas, especially during the grandiose Scala Santa sequence. Luther is presented as the quintessential protestant hero: a hero who wears the friar habit and the military armour with equal grace; a hero who triggers a brave revolution against Rome but – at the same time - domesticates a social revolution growing within his own folks; a hero, in the end, who would make Bavarian censors sharpen their scissors! This complete version of the film will be presented next October 10, 2017, at the Berlin Philharmonie with live organ accompaniment by Thierry Escaich. 


Wolfgang Zeller