Go to contents

I Hope We Can Wash Our Souls by Watching Masterpieces

Posted August. 23, 2002 22:20,   


A German Father Im In-duk (67. President of Benedict Media) is known as the ‘media Father,’ who preaches gospel through movies and videos to believers. He has been working to select works of masters that give us higher sense and values although not so popular and diffuse them for 10 years. From the selection of works to copyright contract, translation, and making pamphlets are all his works.

The works that he has brought into the country from 1993 are 40 some pieces in total including ‘The Wintry Silence’ by Ingmar Bergman, ‘Mirror’ and ‘Infiltrator’ by Andrei Tarkofski, and ‘Ten Seasons’ by Kzishitor Kieslofski. He introduced a video that contained an interview with Mother Teresa, which was made before she died, to Korea from his Belgian friend, director Bauer.

Recently, he is introducing not just movies but videos of documentaries that were broadcasted in foreign media. The ‘2000 Years of Christ’ (2000 Jahre Christentum) that he brought in July was the 12 parts documentary that was broadcasted by the ZDF in Germany. Father Im considers this as “a masterpiece, which was produced in cooperation of Catholic and Protestants, that can help us to see the Christianity objectively.”

The Benedict Media (www.benedictmedia.co.kr), which sells the movies and videos that he brought in, became a favorite shop of the manias that were looking for outstanding movies.

Father Im In-duk’s German name is Heinrich Sebastian Rhotler. He majored in Religious Studies, Cinema Studies, Psychology, and Philosophy at Munich University, and came to Seoul in 1966 and learned Korean for two years. After that he evangelized people by showing the slides of still pictures of masterpiece movies, and worked as the manager of the Benedict Publishing from 1971 to 1993.

While working for the publishing company, he translated and published 400 some publications from overseas. He published theological books including ‘Liberation Theology’ by Gutierrez and patristic philosophy series, and translated steady sellers such as ‘the Giving Tree’ and ‘Hope to the Flowers.’

Even though he was hospitalized for three years because he injured his leg by a car accident in 1987, he did not forget his call. A short after getting up by using a stick, he got into the new areas of introducing movies and videos.

Since it introduces not so popular movies, there are almost no profits made in the Benedict Media. It got worse after the foreign exchange crisis in 1998, and now it barely pays the employees’ salaries.

Father Im, however, pledges, “To preach the Good News is to plant clean mind to people and transfer them the proper values. My mission is to help young friends, who are soaked with violent moves, to like clean movies.”

Seong-Yub Ra cpu@donga.com