Best Historical Movies I Watched for the First Time Last School Year



  I greatly enjoy a good historical movie, and I thought today I'd share with you my favorites that I watched for the first time last school year.    

Top 3 Historical Dramas

1. Bonhoeffer: Agent of Grace

A friend recommended this movie to me, and my whole family enjoyed watching it. It's about (you guessed it!) Dietrich Bonhoeffer. With excellent quality and a very authentic feel, it tells the story of Bonhoeffer's decision to leave the safety of America and return to his homeland in Germany and how he became involved in the conspiracy to overthrow Hitler. His faith in God and His Word is clearly portrayed as being his motivation and his relationships with his family and fiancé, Maria, are also portrayed well. I was pleased they kept it so close to the real story.  

Read the MovieGuide review of it here

2. A Hidden Life

Another movie based on the life of a real person who lived during World War II, A Hidden Life is about Franz Jagerstatter, an Austrian farmer who, when called up to fight in the German army, refused to swear allegiance to Hitler and paid the ultimate price for it. Although it's sad, I thought it was a beautiful movie about doing what you believe to be right in God's eyes even if no one sees, no one understands, it makes no seeable difference, and it costs you everything. The scenery (mostly Austrian mountains and countryside) and the costumes are lovely. And regardless of whether you would have done exactly the same in Franz's place, there are many spiritual lessons to take away from this movie--both from Franz and from his wife, Fani. I personally came away freshly inspired to pray and to live as a follower of Jesus and not merely an admirer. 

Read the PluggedIn review here

3. Field of Lost Shoes

Also based on a true story, Field of Lost Shoes is set during the American Civil War. It introduces us to seven young cadets of Virginia Military Institute who are called upon to defend the Shenandoah Valley. I thought it handled difficult topics like war and slavery very well and a little humor is interspersed among the sadness and seriousness. There are also some strong messages of faith and character. 

Read the MovieGuide review here. (Note: we watched it on PureFlix, and it had been edited slightly for family viewing). 

Top 3 Documentaries:

1. Free Burma Rangers

The most gripping documentary I've seen, Free Burma Rangers, chronicles the journey of missionaries Dave and Karen Eubank and their family and their work bringing hope and help to the people of war-torn Burma and later Iraq. 

2. Making Choices: The Dutch Resistance During World War II

This was the documentary that first introduced me to Diet Eman (whom I wrote a blog post about which you can read here). I greatly enjoyed hearing her tell her story and hearing the stories of other heroes of the Dutch Resistance. 

3. Overlord: A Mighty Host

Another great documentary, this one is about D-Day, telling the story through black-and-white video footage, and the reflections of the veterans who fought in that historic battle.


And here are a few more historical dramas I thought were very good, even though they didn't quite make my top three:


Based on historic facts, this is an intense, very well-made movie on the battle that turned the tide of the war in the Pacific during WWII. 
Note: we watched this one with filters on for language. 

Rising Free

Set in the late 1800s, among the beautiful landscape of the Oregon Coast, this movie is a story of how Christlike love, hope, and forgiveness can overcome hate and prejudice. 

Walking With the Enemy 

One of the most intense movies I have ever watched, and inspired by a true story, this one is about a young Jewish man in Hungary during World War II who saved the lives of hundreds of Jews by masquerading as a Nazi. 


What about you? What historical movies have you watched recently? Have you seen any of the ones I mentioned and, if so, what did you think of them? Leave a comment below! 


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