Thursday, November 30, 2006

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Christian film makes Houston premiere at Baptist church
‘THE OATH’ IS A HISTORICAL DRAMA SET IN NAPOLEONIC FRANCE
Although Richard Ramsey considers himself a Christian filmmaker, his second and most recent film, “The Oath of Desormeau,” is not outright Christian.

While many Christian filmmakers produce works that use overt preaching, Ramsey uses symbolism to tell spread the Christian message in his story, which is set in Napoleonic France and is about a man’s vow to protect two orphaned children, and how it is carried out even after his death.

“The characters, objects and places represent larger ideas,” he said of his film, which he calls allegorical. The central characters in the film represent ideas and people essential to Christian faith.

God, Adam, the church, Christians and the devil are all symbolized through the film’s main characters, although this relation is never stated in the film.

Awarded Most Dramatic Film at the What You See Is What You Get film festival in San Francisco and both Best of Festival and Audience Choice at the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival, “The Oath” is scheduled to premier at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Houston’s First Baptist Church.

The premiere, which is free and open to the public, will take place in the chapel and will be followed by a reception that will include a question and answer session with the cast and crew.

“The Oath” is a product of Aletheia Stage and Film Company, which was founded by Ramsey in 2003 as way to produce films that had more meaning and for him to do work in harmony with his world view as a Christian.

Montrose-area resident Santry Rush, who recently became the production director at First Baptist, joined Ramsey in the formation of the film company.

“It’s hard to find work that you can be passionate about if you don’t feel like its fulfilling a better purpose,” Rush said.

The two studied theater at McLennan Community College and University of Houston.


Santry appears in the film as the villian Jacques Renard, who symbolizes the devil.

Both men said that it is impossible to divorce artists from their worldviews. That is why in his writing, Ramsey’s Christian worldview is just assumed, instead of him trying to convince the audience that what he believes is true.

I feel like a lot of Christian films beg where they should presuppose,” Ramsey said. “I’m not gonna beg you to believe that Christianity is true.”

A film doesn’t have to be about a Bible tale or be about a missionary or preacher to show Christian values.

“All truth is God’s truth,” Santry said. “Whether you see that in a secular or Christian film. I think he can be found wherever you are looking.”

In his drama, Ramsey strives to show the redemption, sanctification and sovereignty of God.

In addition to spreading his Christian worldview, as an entertainer Ramsey always wants the audience to enjoy a great story. In other words, viewers who might not understand or choose to disregard the film’s deeper meaning, will still be entertained.

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