Sabina: Tortured for Christ – the Nazis Years is scheduled for theatrical release November 8-10 in select theaters nationwide. A prequel to the story of The Voice of the Martyrs (VOM)founders, Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, Sabina chronicles how the couple led an underground ministry for those persecuted by the Nazis and Communists in their homeland of Romania during and after World War II.
Filmed onsite in Romania by a Romanian crew, the movie has already won several prestigious awards, including Best Feature, Audience Choice, and Best Original Film Score, at the Christian Worldview Filmmakers Guild and Festival.
Plus, the film features some amazing music, including “It Is Well,” an original song from beloved singers/songwriters Keith and Kristyn Getty. Their song plays a pivotal role in the plot of the movie, and it is sure to become a timeless favorite for Christians worldwide.
But for those who have read Tortured for Christ or watched the film version of Richard Wurmbrand’s story of persecution as a Christian minister and his 14 years of imprisonment during communist oppression, Sabina will present another aspect of the couple’s relentless stand for Christ. It might be shocking for some people to realize that Sabina and Richard, though Jewish by birth, were both staunch atheists before becoming Christians.
Writer/director John Grooters insightfully portrays the faith journey of the Wurmbrands with both truth and respect. In fact, Sabina leaves no doubt of the transforming power of God’s love and forgiveness, even in the heart of a hedonistic atheist woman such as Sabina Wurmbrand.
Grooters is one of the most sought-after faith-based screenwriters and directors in the world of filmmaking. Also, the writer and producer for the original Tortured for Christ film, Grooters, and his wife Judy worked together as producers of Sabina.
After watching a preview of the film, I was given the humbling opportunity to interview Grooters. To be honest, I was a little overwhelmed and slightly intimidated because Grooters is such a respected and gifted writer. But he was genuinely gracious and friendly, so he immediately put me at ease.
As my first question, I asked why telling this part of the Wurmbrands’ story was so important at this moment in history. Grooters acknowledged that global incidents of antisemitism and Christian persecution are disturbingly high right now, even in the United States.
But for Grooters, the most important and pressing objective of the movie for his production company and the staff at The Voice of the Martyrs was simply the unchanging gospel message of forgiveness.
“This movie is a story of true forgiveness,” remarked Grooters. “It’s kind of like the biblical story of the prodigal son. The prodigal’s father didn’t just pardon the son when he came home. No, he ran to him and embraced him with a kiss.
“The Wurmbrands exemplified that kind of forgiveness. They were both so transformed by the love of Christ that even in the face of evil, they offered their enemies love and forgiveness over and over again.”
In fact, without revealing too much of the film’s plot, the movie opens with Sabina Wurmbrand risking her life to show Christ’s love to Nazi soldiers.
And let me say from the start that Raluca Botez, the Romanian actress who portrays Sabina, does a superb job of making her character both vulnerable and filled with strength. It is no wonder Botez won Best Lead Actress for her role in Sabina at the Canadian International Faith and Family Film Festival.
Botez’s performance captivated me from the first scene in the movie. But I must admit that while watching the film, my continual thought was probably the same as most viewers: Why in the world would a Jewish Christian woman such as Sabina risk her life for such evil, murderous people, especially during one of the most dangerous, antisemitic times in world history?
If that kind of love is hard to imagine for you, then get ready for one of the most powerful climactic endings to a movie ever viewed.
Suffice it to say, the Wurmbrands were true followers of Christ, and Sabina: Tortured for Christ –the Nazis Years is merely more proof of lives dedicated to sharing the message of Christ with everyone – friend and foe alike.
For the Wurmbrands, love and forgiveness were the cornerstones of their personal message and their international ministry organization. In fact, they founded The Voice of the Martyrs in 1967 to serve persecuted Christians around the world.
Today, the vibrant ministry staff of VOM is dedicated to helping believers deepen their commitment to Christ and fulfill His Great Commission — no matter the cost. Sabina: Tortured for Christ –the Nazis Years certainly achieves that two-pronged objective.
Watch an official film trailer by clicking HERE.
To learn more about the film, or to locate theaters participating in Fathom Events’ special November 8-10 release of Sabina: Tortured for Christ –the Nazis Years, click HERE.