The following DVD was provided for the purpose of this review.
My husband and I were both fans of Rich Mullins even before we met. My high school choir sang his songs; "Our God is an Awesome God" was even sung by all 24 of us at our graduation. Because I knew my husband would be interested, I was delighted with the opportunity to review this DVD.
RAGAMUFFIN is based on the life of Rich Mullins, a musical prodigy who rose to Christian music fame and fortune only to walk away and live on a Navajo reservation. An artistic genius, raised on a tree farm in Indiana by a callous father, Rich wrestled all of his life with the brokenness and crippling insecurity born of his childhood. A lover of Jesus and a rebel in the church, Rich refused to let his struggles with his own darkness tear him away from a God he was determined to love. As he struggled with success in Nashville and depression in Wichita, Rich desired most of all to live a life of honest and reckless faith amidst a culture of religion and conformity.
We went to a funeral about a year ago that left us raw. Negative things about the person's life were shared so much that it hurt. It felt inappropriate. Mitch shared that this DVD reminded him of that funeral. His opinion: "I'm sure all that was shared could have happened, but I think they overdid the negative. They should have shown more of his music and his talent than his hidden problems. When I met him, he was all about his music. This isn't the Rich Mullins that I knew. I think they focused too much on his past, his closet full of faults. He has a lot of music out there and they didn't really touch it."
This movie is not a story about a perfect man. Rich Mullins showed up at his friend's funeral drunk and struggled with forgiving his father. He was human, and he loved Jesus. That love of Jesus was evident both in his music and in parts of his life.
There is repeatitive harsh language used by young Rich's father in the flash back scenes, sadly in almost every scene shared between Rich Mullins as a child and his father. The movie often flips between time periods as it shows how Rich finally forgave his father. Words of prayers are written in his songs.
"Hold me Jesus...
You have been King of my glory...
now I'm falling down and falling on my knees."
The credits include video footage of the real Rich Mullins (as opposed to the actor portraying him) including him telling the crowd to go to concerts for entertainment and church for spiritual nourishment.
"Never forget what Jesus did for you.
Never take lightly what it cost Him."
This movie is geared to an older audience. My ten year old son fell asleep while we were all watching it. My girls noticed different things about it. They didn't grow up hearing Rich Mullins songs on the radio, but they are familiar with many of his songs that have withstood the test of time. A fan of Amy Grant, my oldest daughter recognized a lot of the songs that she listens to on Amy Grant's CDs. She found it interesting that making millions held less interest for him than serving native Americans in an Indian village. The credits at the end said he never knew how much money he made, that it wasn't important.
"It won't break my heart to say goodbye."
•Where to Buy
•About Rich Mullins:
Singer and songwriter Richard Wayne “Rich” Mullins was best known for his worship song “Awesome God” which has been embraced as modern classics by many Christians. His music has been covered by many artists, including Caedmon’s Call, Amy Grant, Jars of Clay, Michael W. Smith, Third Day, John Tesh, and Hillsong United. Mullins’ musical career formally began with Zion Ministries in the late 1970s, where he wrote music and performed with a band called Zion. Mullins first solo hit, “Awesome God,” appeared on his third album and brought his music to a wider audience. Rich Mullins was inducted into the Hall of Fame by the Gospel Music Association (GMA) on April 29, 2014.
“Rich was a gifted songwriter with an amazing heart for people. This film reminded me that what really made Rich special was how undistracted he was with the things of this world. His was a heart yearning for God.” - Michael W. Smith Singer, Songwriter
“This film captures the life of one of the most important people in the history of modern evangelicalism, a ragamuffin that our children and our grandchildren need to know about.” - Shane Claiborne Author, Activist
Thanks to a nationwide church-screening tour from January through May 2014, RAGAMUFFIN traveled to 200 screens where it was seen by over 25,000 people at churches, college campuses and even jails. The DVD is being released today (7/8/14), and I get to give one copy to one of you!
Run-Time: 137 minutes
Writer/ Director: David Schultz
Dove Seal: Faith-Based with Caution
Suggested Retail Price: $19.99
Distributor: Capitol Christian Distribution
Learn more and engage:https://twitter.com/RichMullinsFilm
**Soundtrack also available July 22nd featuring Jars Of Clay, Derek Webb, Sidewalk Prophets, Audrey Assad, Leigh Nash and more! Plus 2 NEW, original, never-before heard songs from Rich Mullins recorded in the early 70’s!**