Review – Luther: The Life and Legacy of the German Reformer

Review – Luther: The Life and Legacy of the German Reformer

This coming October will mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. When a young and bold monk of the Augustinian order named Martin Luther nailed his 95 disagreements for discussion on the church door at Wittenberg, a fire was started. This fire still burns today. In honor of the 500th anniversary, Stephen McCaskell a filmmaker from Winnipeg, has filmed a documentary about the life, beliefs, and legacy of Luther. 

This documentary is of great value, especially for those who have never read or studied Luther. While some documentaries take certain liberties with the facts, McCaskell keeps this film within the boundaries of what is known. Even some certain legends surrounding Luther are said to be simply that, legends. One can rest assured that this documentary presents a clear picture into the life of Luther without embellishing or reading his influence back into his earlier days. 

R.C. Sproul, Stephen Nichols, Stephen Lawson, and others made for a great source of anecdotes and further insight into Luther’s mind. McCaskell did a brilliant job in surrounding the documentary with well-educated Luther historians. That being said, these men do not simply insert more facts, but bring Luther’s story to life with colorful and interesting commentary. The animation in this documentary is something I was not expecting to enjoy. Usually, I prefer animation within documentaries to be kept to a minimum, but McCaskell uses this to help the story rather than distract from it. 

The integrity of this documentary is perhaps most seen in that this documentary does not overlook or whitewash Martin Luther’s faults. As bold and as courageous Luther was, he was also incredibly flawed in the use and style of his words. As the documentary rightly points out, Luther struggled with his anger. Martin Luther is shown to be a man in this documentary, a great man, yes, but still a man. Perhaps my only concern with this documentary is the lack of any time given to to the Lutheran tradition or denomination. Lutheranism is a huge part of Luther’s legacy and yet nothing is said about the denomination.

This documentary is essential for anyone who is unfamiliar with Luther. Those who have studied Luther’s work and life will also be benefited, especially by the commentary of the various scholars. I highly recommend anyone to watch Luther: The Life and Legacy of the German Reformer.

To watch or purchase the film please visit

– Dean