Pastor Chuck Smith and his wife, Kay, witnessed hippies who were “high” on drugs, rebellious to the status quo, and searching for love and peace. The Smiths’ observations came prior and during the Jesus Movement (late 1960s through early 1970s), and are portrayed in the true-story movie, “Jesus Revolution.”
Telling the story of the hippies is what the JESUS REVOLUTION movie does best, Smiths’ daughter, Janette (Smith) Manderson recently told Think Eternity.
“If you want to see what it was like 50 years ago, what the culture was like, what the young people were looking for, and why they were so lost, go see the movie,” Manderson said. “The movie also depicts the answer to the yearning in their hearts and deep in their souls.”
Hippies “were more interested in achieving higher levels of consciousness through drugs, grooving on the music of the day, and enjoying sexual adventures free from the convention of marriage. … This youth revolution was in full swing when a deeper, stronger, and more radical tide began to surge.
It was called the Jesus Revolution, or the Jesus Movement.”
(Excerpt from the book, Jesus Revolution, by Greg Laurie and Ellen Vaughn)
Manderson said she loves the movie and chalks up any discrepancies about the portrayal of herself to “artistic license.” She said she did enjoy the actress’s (Ally Ioannides) performance. Manderson’s focus during this interview was on the film’s potential for a huge impact on audiences.
She referred to what happened to the hippies in real life, and depicted in the movie, as “a complete transformation of what God wanted to do inside them.”
“And they didn’t have to change their clothing. They didn’t have to change their life, as far as living on the streets, but once they belonged to the Lord, then He transformed them. For those of us that were Christ followers, it was very satisfying to see broken lives built back better,” Manderson said.
When looking back on the Jesus Movement it’s important to understand what was happening at the time, she said.
“The Vietnam War radicalized a lot of kids,” some even to the point of violence against those supporting the war effort. Drug use was prevalent. “It was a time when just so many kids started using drugs and I think that was in rebellion to the war, their parents, and the materialism of the culture. They wanted peace and love.
“They were hungry inside and they didn’t know what they were hungry for. They just knew that they weren’t satisfied. So, I think a lot of them used drugs to try to satisfy that feeling. The movie depicts the hippies going to the Timothy Leary concert down in Laguna Canyon doing LSD.”