Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Howard Greenberg Gallery. Featured Image
Backs Against the Wall is the latest from director Martin Doblmeier, who has made a career of directing documentaries of religious figures. He prefers heroes and prophets, like the subject of his most famous documentary, the Nazi-fighting German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer. In Thurman, Doblmeier has found yet another hero that lets him tell a story he is fond of telling. Backs Against the Wall, like many of his other films, is about a version of Christianity that is a source of moral courage and political progress, a refuge from the forces of evil and a resource to overcome oppression. Judging from the tone of this film and his previous ones, it is a version of Christianity that Doblmeier wishes more people would follow.