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Hollywood Hits Abilene: A Conversation with the Creators of ‘Jesus Revolution’

 


“Jesus Revolution” co-director and director Brent McCorkle poses for a photo with ACU students who attended the free screening of the film Monday night.

Viewers gathered for a free premiere screening of “Jesus Revolution” last Monday at Cinemark in Abilene. After the screening, there was a Q&A with film editor and 2018 ACU alumnus John Puckett and co-director and film scorer Brent McCorkle.

“Jesus Revolution” is based on a true story set at the height of the counterculture hippie movement of the 1970s. On the fringes of this movement, hippies are converting to Christianity. Brent McCorkle was the main conductor of historical research for the film.

There were all these different ideas of what the world was, of what it could be, McCorkle said. It was this crazy polytheistic soup of ideas, and in all of that, mixed in, was Christianity.

One of the most notable hippies who turned to Christianity was Lonnie Frisbee, played by Jonathan Roumie. The film follows Frisbee as he befriends conservative pastor Chuck Smith, played by Kelsey Grammer. Together they open the doors of Smiths Calvary Chapel to hippies seeking faith. One such newcomer was teenager Greg Laurie, played by Joel Courtney, whose story is closely tied to that of Frisbee and Smith.

It was a movement of those disenfranchised young people who didn’t necessarily want to go home, but also went to the end of free love, McCorkle said. They were always looking for something to feel better about in life. Christianity offered some answers.

“Jesus Revolution” and the recent box office success of “The Chosen” suggest that audiences for the Christian film genre are growing. People like recent ACU alumnus John Puckett are at the forefront of this new era. He encourages everyone, religious or not, to see ‘Jesus Revolution’.

I want people to look at this and say, ‘Who are the hippies of our generation that we need to open the door to?'” Puckett said.

This introduction of high-production Christian entertainment has caught Hollywood’s attention, particularly Lionsgate, which will release “Jesus Revolution” in theaters next February. Puckett appreciates the approach the film takes to the Christian film genre, that of flawed characters and careful attention to the quality of the films.

It’s a very human story, it’s tough, it’s complicated, it doesn’t, God will solve all your problems if you believe in Him, Puckett said. Christian movies can be great without being corny. Make sure they are people who deal with issues from a Christian perspective.

For more, visit @jesusrevolutionmovie on Instagram and website, https://jesusrevolution.movie/where you can claim free tickets to see the films national premiere next February.

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