Every month, DISH has dozens of new movies available to rent or purchase on pay-per-view and on demand. To order, simply tune-in to channel 1 or 501 for On Demand, or browse channels 502-517 for Pay-Per-View.
Jesus Revolution opens with the soulful croons of a familiar (and still powerful) song by Rare Earth: “I just want to celebrate another day of living… another day of liiiiiiife!”
Indeed, the recent coming-of-age film from Lionsgate explores what it means to be alive as its characters search for truth through love, drugs, freedom, music, and spiritual awakening. The story is told through the point of view of Greg Laurie (Joel Courtney), a teenager living in southern California in the late ‘60s, a time and place where hippie counterculture is in full swing. His father is gone, his mother is a mess, and copious drugs have left him emptied out.
By chance (or was it?) Greg meets street pastor Lonnie Frisbee (Jonathan Roumie), whose charisma and authenticity are impossible for young Greg to ignore. Lonnie also has an uncanny
resemblance to the traditional anglo-saxon depiction of Jesus. Lonnie says, “People tell meI’m trying to look like Jesus. I can’t think of anyone else I’d rather look like.”
Greg and Lonnie also meet local Pastor Chuck Smith, played by Kelsey Grammar in a wryly endearing performance. With Lonnie’s help, Pastor Chuck revitalizes his fledgling church by
opening the doors to the “hippies” he once found confounding and aloof; After his wife says, “These people need our help,” he replies, “These people need a bath”. Little did he know, this snark becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy as Pastor Chuck would later wash the feet of each and every “dirty hippie” who turns up at his Church – just as Jesus washed the feet of his disciples.
What unfolds is based on the true “Jesus” movement of the 60s and 70s, a crusade-turned-revival that forever left its stamp on Christianity.
So what was the Jesus Movement?
Beginning on the west coast and moving its away across North America, the Jesus movement was a communally-oriented evangelical movement that began in the ‘60s. “Jesus Freaks” as they were dubbed, were largely young rebellious people who found an alternative lifestyle in the form of born-again Christianity. While short-lived, the Jesus Movement had a long-lasting impact on Christianity, giving rise to various denominations as well as Christian rock music and the development of Christian films and radio.
Most of what happened in Jesus Revolution is true
Greg Laurie, Lonnie Frisbee and Pastor Chuck were real people. Calvary Church really did open its doors to hippies and grow into a multi-thousand revival congregation. New converts were indeed baptized in the Pacific Ocean. In fact, one crew member got baptized during the filming of Jesus Revolution. While it avoids much of the controversy surrounding the movement, the film offers a fairly accurate depiction of the Jesus Movement. Without becoming too steeped in historical detail, the film’s narrative engine is how Christianity can bridge different generations, in spite of very different cultures and ideologies.
That theme resonated with movie-going audiences: the film was a surprise indie hit, making over $50 million at the box office. Turns out, many of us can relate to a story of a search for something real – and, if we’re lucky enough – that story becomes all the more poignant when we actually find it.
If you loved Jesus Revolution, here are three other faith-based films also available to rent on DISH:
After country singer Will Brown’s wife passes away, his grief sidelines his career and pushes him away from his daughter until a bright and talented horse trainer shows him strength, forgiveness and grace to live life again.
Legacy Peak (2022)
From Pure Flix, a blended family’s Christmas plans fly out the window when their small plane must make an emergency landing in the mountains.
Nothing is Impossible (2022)
When an NBA team suddenly announces open tryouts, a high school janitor gets a second chance at both love and life.
All these titles are now available for rent on DISH for $5.99.