The real Luther

The Reformer in film
Having just written a biography of Martin Luther, coming out in January in the Viking Penguin Lives series, I was curious to see how the movie Luther turned out. I liked it very much, though in the interest of full disclosure, I must state that my name does appear among the script consultants.

A central problem for the movie- makers and for this and other Luther biographers is how to present this late-medieval figure to postmodern readers and audiences. Trying to make him into a modern man would be a bad fit. Dealing with him in an antiquarian fashion would make the reader or viewer do all the work of adjusting to his world. Further, how does one deal with the contradictions of a person who embodied and savored paradox? The film does a good job of dealing with these challenges.


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