If you allow it, Dan Merchant’s Lord, Save Us From Your Followers will completely disarm you. Of course, getting over the title will be a challenge for some who believe they already know the contents of a movie that’s equal parts hilarious, challenging and touching. Now, the fi lm has a proper DVD release and is available to audiences coast-to-coast. And director Dan Merchant hopes the fi lm’s impact increases exponentially. CCM: What’s been the biggest misconception you’ve encountered so far when trying to spread the word about Lord, Save Us? Dan Merchant: Obviously, the title of the fi lm is provocative and there are some who jump to conclusions about the content of the movie. They may not realize I’m a Christian or perhaps they just lack the humor gene. I suppose I asked for it since I swiped the movie title from a bumper sticker. [Laughs] But it’s been really gratifying to see the reaction of folks who actually watch the fi lm. They fi nd it’s a funny, heartfelt, challenging, honest and positive movie. CCM: It’s surprising just how unifying this work has been for so many across the spectrum of belief. Have you been taken back with that? Dan: Yeah, surprising is a great word. Exhilarating is another. To have teary eyed atheists hugging me after screenings at the Sedona International Film Festival or hugging teary eyed pastors at church screenings or to sit in the back of an art house and watch a diverse crowd engrossed in this movie has been an unbelievable blessing. The shared experience of watching a fi lm is an interesting dynamic that really can create a community out of disparate elements. And, frankly, to have such a wide audience range respond to the themes of Lord, Save Us... only reminds me that we all come from one creator and we’re all longing, on some level, to be reconciled with Him. CCM: What about the responses to the fi lm so far—has there been one that’s most surprising or striking on a personal level? Dan: Lord, Save Us… is an entertaining documentary fi lm. It’s defi nitely a compelling night out at the movies, but it is designed as a conversation starter. And thusly, it really does provoke a response from everyone who watches it – so that’s a lot of words to say I have heard thousands of reactions to the fi lm. They range from a heartfelt “Thank you” to deep discussions about how we as Christians sound to others to spirited discussions about what Jesus really stood for. I’m sure you can imagine the range of comments—98% positive reactions by the FILM REVIEWS way. Specifi cally, I remember a woman at a large, conservative Evangelical church who spoke up at a post-screening Q&A: “I knew God was love! I just knew it!” I remember a gay man in Seattle hugging me, tears running down his face, saying, “I’m 24 years old and watching your movie, just now, is the fi rst time in my life I’ve felt any love from anyone who claimed to be a Christian.” Heartbreaking, heart touching stuff. — Matt Conner For more information, check out www.lordsaveusthemovie.com. GETTING TO KNOW: DAN MERCHANT Age: 45 Born: Palo Alto, CA Previous Experience: Exec Producer/Writer for VH-1’s Strange Frequency Next Up: Grace Finds Beauty, a new screenplay Merchant describes as “an ensemble drama about, well, grace.” Book Bound: Merchant’s also working on a new book stemming from his experiences with Lord, Save Us… entitled Loving Kindness Actually Works. CCM 51