Sing Your Praise to the Lord
Hold Me Jesus
If you listen to contemporary Christian music, you’ve no doubt heard these songs, written during the ’80s and ’90s by Rich Mullins.
But if, like me, you came late to the contemporary Christian music party, you may not know much about Rich Mullins the man.
Mullins died after a car crash on September 19, 1997, at the age of 41, leaving behind a rich legacy of music.
An independent film recently released to select markets, tells the story of Rich Mullins’ extraordinary life, a decades-long journey of faith.
Ragamuffin: The True Story of Rich Mullins is as raw and revealing as Rich Mullins was himself.
Thoroughly character-driven, the cinematography, acting, and script raise the bar for independent Christian movies, although director David Schultz is quick to point out Ragamuffin is not a Christian film.
“Films cannot be ‘Christian'”, says Schultz in an interview from his California home. “We did not make a Christian film. We made a film about a Christian.”
Schultz, a California-based Christian comedian, approached David Mullins with the idea of a movie about his brother’s life. David Mullins got the family on board and appears in the film as a radio DJ interviewing Rich. Schultz directed, wrote, and produced the film. He also stars as Rich’s college roommate and long-time friend Sam Howard. (The real Sam Howard plays his own father in the film.) Mitch McVicker, who was with Mullins at the time of the fatal crash, plays himself.
But the driving force of the film is Rich Mullins. For that part, Schultz called on Michael Koch, an old college roommate with only minor acting experience.
Michael Koch becomes Rich Mullins in this film. What he lacks in physical characteristics, Koch makes up for in attitude and delivery – many lines being direct quotes Mullins made at concerts and in interviews.
“We originally had a 300 page script,” says Schultz. “We had so much good stuff left by Rich. There was no way we’d get away with a 5-hour movie. It was tough cutting it down.”
For all of Rich Mullen’s success as a singer/songwriter, Rich Mullen’s life was full of insecurities, messy relationships, and deep theological questioning. His life was driven, however, by a single-minded determination to discover God.
Ragamuffin shows this journey in living color.
Without conventional distribution, the movie has been on a screening tour, primarily playing in churches. However, beginning May 2, Ragamuffin will begin playing in theaters. To bring the movie to your town, reserve your tickets. Once a venue has 500 reservations, the film will be shown. Information and a link to reserve tickets can be found on the movie’s website.