One of the directors behind the upcoming faith-based film Jesus Revolution says the story is so powerful that non-Christians have been moved to tears while screening it.
The Lionsgate movie, which releases in theaters Feb. 24, tells the true story of the hippie-led "Jesus Movement" revival of the 1960s and 1970s when countless young people came to Christ. The story spotlights the work of pastor Chuck Smith (portrayed by Kelsey Grammer), hippie evangelist Lonnie Frisbee (Jonathan Roumie) and future pastor Greg Laurie (Joel Courtney).
Smith famously opened his church to hippies – a move that was opposed by some members.
"Our movie dives into this idea that you don't have to be perfect, you can be flawed and still participate in something very powerful and very spiritual," co-director Brent McCorkle told Christian Headlines.
The movie, McCorkle said, has inspired Christians and non-Christians alike who have screened it.
"There's people from all walks of life in our crew … [and] all different belief systems, and it's just really amazing to see people weep and cry and be moved as they would see footage – because [the footage] felt very special. It felt guided. It felt bigger than a bunch of humans running around with cameras. It feels important," McCorkle told Christian Headlines. "Even people at Lionsgate were moved to tears. They're not all Christians, but they're moved by the story."
Jesus Revolution depicts Smith embracing a generation of young people he didn't understand in order to reach them with the message of the gospel. Smith and Frisbee, though, struggle to maintain a working partnership.
"It's a really messy friendship but beautiful things culminated from their friendship," McCorkle said. "... We live in a world today where we feel more comfortable sanitizing everything. But if you really take a hardcore look at the people in the Bible – they were flawed, very messy, broken people."
McCorkle previously directed Unconditional. He composed and edited I Can Only Imagine, among others.
"[Smith's] choice to include these people [hippies] that were so hated at the time and not only include them but invite them into his little square church was ... a sea change," McCorkle added. "It was very powerful."
Photo courtesy: ©Lionsgate, used with permission.
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.