Adopt-a-Jesus - a review - showing at WVSU Nov. 30th and Huntington Dec. 1

by Steve Fesenmaier

Bob Wilkinson sent me a preview of his new film about Brandt Russo called “Adopt-a-Jesus.” It truly opened a door in to the world that has been making headlines ever since The Great Recession began - the life of America’s homeless. I recalled that Mr. Russo made a stop in Charleston recently, and I guess that is when Bob decided he was worth making a film about. The film is very well made, with great interviews, editing and most interesting in some ways, the music which was credited at the beginning. It was definitely NOT the usual rock and roll nostalgia used in films these days.

Russo is a person who found himself homeless and decided to do something about it, creating a bus that runs on vegtable oil and has the words “Can’t ignore the Poor” on the white side of the bus. The bus is his mobile kitchen/home, and it shows him for two weeks traveling around Louisiana, Texas and other spots where he endlessly dumpster dives, looking for food he can feed the poor with and get more vegatable oil to run the bus. After watching the entire film, one can almost see how easy it is to do - and how thousands and perhaps one day millions will be doing the same.

He visits places that feed the poor like “Common Grounds” and “Loaves and Fishes.” ( I guess he visited ManaMeal when he was in Charleston.) During the film, there are interviews with a few other people involved in the crusade to feed the homeless, but 90 % of the film shows Russo who presents is simply philosophy of applying Jesus’ statement that “anyone who feeds the poor feeds him.”

I particularly enjoyed the final scene of the film, showing Russo and friends outside the largest church in America with 40,000 members as they actively tell the incoming members about is program. 7 sign up. Like he says, “be the church, not go to church.” He does discuss the misuse of religion in homeless shelters and really focuses on the simply facts of life on the street. He revisits one place where he used to live in LA. It brought tears to my eyes to think of the hell he and millions go through in our criminally capitalistic society every day.

As I have written earlier, the film is being shown in film festivals around North America. The film is being shown locally at several places. Visit the website for dates including Nov. 30th at WVSU Institute and Dec. 1 in Huntington at Marshall U. Maybe the ManaMeal people would like to see it. Maybe the church people of the state would like to see it - and see how one man has become a contemporary Jesus.

No comments:

Post a Comment