[notice]Father Of Lights, is the final film in a trilogy of powerful God encounters that have impacted millions of viewers around the world. ANDRE VILJOEN interviewed director, Darren Wilson in Port Elizabeth this week, at the end of a two weeks Father Of Lights tour of South Africa.[/notice]
Part of next film will be shot in South Africa
A witchdoctor was among 30 people who committed their lives to Jesus after watching a screening of the documentary Father Of Lights in Johannesburg, last week, said director, Darren Wilson in an interview on Sunday at the end of a two weeks tour of South Africa.
Having viewed the film several times, I could imagine that the witchdoctor would have been rocked to her core during the movie which reflects something of our Heavenly Father’s incomparable power and even more compellingly, his loving, compassionate heart.
When I say that the ‘presence of God is literally tangible’ during the three feature-length documentaries, Finger Of God, Furious Love and Father Of Lights, I am not indulging in ‘Christianese’ hyperbole. During the making of the movies, Wilson and his two fellow cameramen travelled to many parts of the world to capture footage of God in action. And they were always aware that if He did not show up they would have no film.
Transformational 6 year journey
“These movies are really personal for me: I don’t make them for the masses. I make them for me. I’m just really happy that people like them. But I go into these things because I have questions I want answered,” said Wilson about the deeply transformational six year journey that began in 2006 when he started Finger Of God without a script or a budget.
He speculated that people are impacted by the films because they relate to his personal journey.
“I think they see a lot of themselves in me. It’s like I am the average guy, The normal guy who doesn’t believe when he prays.”
He embarked upon Finger Of God by asking the question: Does God still do miracles? Extraordinary miracles were recorded on film.
“At the start I was as curious as the next guy. I had no belief that God was going to do it. I had a lot of hope that He would.”
In Furious love he said he wanted to know what the phrase ‘God loves you’ really means. He visited some of the most evil, dark situations in the world, asking whether there were people who were “too far gone” to be reached by God’s love.
“The darker the place we went the brighter He shined,” said Wilson.
The question he wanted resolved in Father of Lights was: “Who is God?”
Misconceptions about God
He realised that he, like many others, had misconceptions about what God was really like. He had a picture of Him as somebody who was angry, vengeful, and sad. But he discovered that he was “the kindest, most loving and compassionate Father that you can imagine”.
Describing his personal transformation from a skeptical Christian “who was barely holding on” to a “friend of God”, he said: “It was a very slow progression of seeing things. It wasn’t like seeing one thing and now I believe.”
But as he dug deeply in search of answers during his film-making quest he was transformed.
“These movies have literally changed my DNA .They have completely changed everything within me. My personality is the same but everything else is different,” he said.
“The Lord has shown me over the last year or so that this whole journey has been designed to get me to a place where I can finally call myself a friend of God.
“Previously I was an acquaintance. I knew about Him. I had met Him a couple of times. But I didn’t know Him. I certainly wasn’t friends with Him and I didn’t trust Him. Now I trust Him with everything and I don’t want to do anything without Him.”
Wilson said his “graduation” as a true friend of God occurred while filming the miraculous final scene of Father Of Lights, involving the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem.
Before he started working on the film God told him that the final scene would be in Israel and would be big.
When the time came to go to Israel he went there without a plan other than to take along a friend, Todd White, who the Holy Spirit had prompted him to invite.
Trust and friendship
“I knew God had sent me to Israel and that the ending was there. But when I got there it was almost like that He wanted me to figure out what I wanted to do, and that He came through because I trusted that He would do it. And also because after three films He finally trusted me. And that’s the thing about friendship that I learned. The root denominator for friendship is trust. Your best friend in the world is the person you trust the most. We always think we just have to trust God. But its a two-way street. To be a true friend of God He has to trust you.
“Love is a gift. It’s free. You don’t have to do anything to earn more. But trust has to be earned. That’s why we have the parable of the talents.”
But Wilson says he still has questions he wishes to explore on film. In July he will start work on his latest feature-length documentary in which he will be asking questions about the Holy Spirit.
“I don’t understand the Holy Spirit. I know about Him but I want to get to know Him as a person.”
Expect his next film to be quite different to his first three movies, said Wilson.
“The trilogy is over. There will probably never be another movie like those that I make again. Because that’s a totally separate journey – a journey of me becoming friends. But now I want to make a movie as God’s friend.
“So I want it to look different and feel different. Its going to have a totally different style. I don’t even know if its going to have a voice over. I want to push things creatively. And when I’m making a movie about God I don’t want to fall into the trap of trying to make each sequel bigger and better. So I want it to be totally different. I want to switch any preconceptions people have right in the beginning so that they can just experience God. Because God doesn’t have to one-up Himself. “
He said the new film will however still include lots of God adventures and travel.
Now that he has visited South Africa for the first time, does he plan to do any filming in this country, I asked Wilson.
SA filming in January
“Yes, I will be filming in South Africa in January. It will be the last place that I film,” he confirmed.
He said that during a recent showing of Father of Lights in Stilfontein, North West, the Lord clearly showed him that he should film a big healing event with Prophet Kobus van Rensburg in Stilfontein. He also hoped to film South African revivalist Surprise Sithole.
“I have been trying to film Surprise for five years. He finally said yes.”
Wilson said he loved his visit to South Africa but was looking forward to getting back to Chicago to be with his wife, Jenell and his children, Serenity, 11, Stryder, 8 and River, 4.
(Finger of God, Furious Love and Father Of Lights can be purchased from the Wanderlust Productions website in DVD format or as video downloads. Also available is a Father Of Lights deluxe edition DVD that includes 11 hours of extra footage.)