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Film, Discussion Keys in on Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Tuesday, April 11, 2017


For Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “The Cost of Discipleship” involved his life.

The German pastor, theologian and spy known for his staunch resistance to the Nazi dictatorship, was arrested and imprisoned for nearly two years before being hanged, even as the Nazi regime he had protested was collapsing.

Gary Blount, a psychiatrist with a Master’s in International Relations, has produced a docudrama  detailing the last days of Bonhoeffer. And he will show it at 7 p.m. Monday, April 17, at the Wood River High School Performing Arts Theater at the Community Campus in Hailey.

Admission to the Northwest premiere of “Come Before Winter” is free. It will be followed by a question and answer session featuring Blount, who is coming here from his home in Minnesota, along with Rabbi James Mirel, the Rev. Gerald Reinke and Pastor Stephen McCandless.

Before the main event, Blount will also present an hour-long program at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 15, at the Wood River Seventh-day Adventist Church, 705 S. Main St., in Hailey. Blount will share the historical framework and issues connected with Bonhoeffer’s involvement with the German resistance during that time and talk about the theologian’s viewpoints on the intersection of faith, action and ethics.

A free lunch will be served following that presentation so that attendees may discuss the film with Blount.

The docudrama, which weaves together dramatic scenes and interviews with leading Bonhoeffer scholars, was filmed in Europe and Southern California. It focuses on Bonhoeffer’s final days.

“Our story is about the final chapter in Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s life and what must have been the aching for deliverance by the Allies, who were rapidly closing in,” said Blount.

 Initial screenings in Switzerland, England and California have drawn accolades.

Bonhoeffer’s writings, including “The Cost of Discipleship,” has become classics. While in prison, he told one woman, “Christ visits the prisons…He will not pass me by.”

Blount taught history prior to becoming a psychiatrist. He also served as a Peace Corps volunteer and was on the last plane out of Grenada as the U.S. Marines landed. He has long had an obsession with World War II and Bonhoeffer, fascinated by Bonhoeffer’s beliefs regarding ethics and how a life of faith matters in the real world.

The film showing, directed by Kevin Ekvall and written by Hellmut Schlingensiepen,  is sponsored by Valley of Peace Lutheran Church, Seventh-day Adventist Church and the Wood River Jewish Community.

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