Christian filmmaker Chris Dowling shared how his latest film, “The Man From Nowhere,” is emotionally impacting men through a message of healing and restoration.
Now streaming on Pure Flix, "The Man From Nowhere' encourages viewers to reflect on life and their relationships, noting that it's never too late to make amends with others.
The film, starring Nick Searcy and Seth Bowling, centers on a prodigal father who discovers he's dying. He seeks to reconcile with his son who is battling alcoholism and is faced with having to try and understand his father's past decisions as well as his newfound faith.
Written and produced by Dowling (“Run the Race”), the movie was filmed in just eight days. Dowling said the idea to film so quickly was brought to him by co-writer and director Matt Green.
“I told him that he was insane, but he wouldn't listen,” Dowling told The Christian Post in a recent interview. “So we knew we had to find a very contained story that had really strong characters and dialogue.”
"He had this idea for an adult father-son story and I hadn't seen a lot of that type of relationship explored in faith and inspirational films, so I loved writing it with him,” he said. “We see the man from nowhere as a prodigal father story which we don't see often in films. The story is profound and powerful.”
“The Man From Nowhere” has themes of reconciliation, healing and accountability.
Dowling said he wants audiences to take with them the “importance of repairing broken relationships before it's too late as well as the knowledge that the only perfect Father is God."
"A big one for me is how pride keeps us from apologizing and thus healing," he added. "A lot of times, we don't even know why we are mad at the other person anymore because it's been years, we are just too proud to apologize.”
“At the screenings, we've had plenty of grown men crying either saying, ‘That was my father’ or ‘That is me,’” the filmmaker continued. “I think there is something so introspective about seeing a story playing out on screen that mirrors issues in your own life.”
The film extends past the father-son relationship, Dowling said, noting that everyone at some point has someone in their life with whom they need to reconcile — “so it's a global lesson.”
“But someone has to make the step and reach out to heal a broken relationship. I hope our film gives the viewer enough confidence to be the one to do just that,” he said.
The strained father-son relationship seen in the film is a reminder that parents also must do inventory and see where they can improve.
“What most kids don't realize until they actually become parents is that this whole thing is a trial by fire," he said. "Most parents want to be perfect and do the right thing for their children, but we are human and we blow it. I think as we get older, we need to be able to evaluate why our kids may feel a certain way about us or specific things we did while parenting ... and talk about it. ... You have to have an open line of honest communication, or the healing process can never begin.
“Sons and daughter have to enough grace to understand that us parents try our best and we definitely get somethings wrong, but our intention was always doing what was right for our kiddos. Sometimes, this whole process takes a trusted outsider to give you perspective. Either way, it is always worth it to fight to fix an otherwise healthy parent/child relationship.”
Dowling believes as Christians, it is important to make right with one another and seek forgiveness when wrong.
“It's hard, but we are called to do it as Christians," he contended. "Again, it's that pride that loves to get in the way but forgiveness only takes one person. If you can truly forgive, you can feel freedom."
The film took “lots of prayer,” Dowling said, and since Green is the film professor at The Master's University, they had “plenty of students on hand to help and learn.”
"To make a movie in eight days, you have to look around and say what ingredients do we know we have, locations, equipment, actors, etc… and then reverse engineer it. That's what we did,” Dowling concluded.
“Then, you just hope your actors are good enough to get their moments because it's soap opera style speed, two takes and moving on. That's the only way you make it on a schedule that tight.”
“The Man from Nowhere” is now streaming on Pureflix.com
Jeannie Ortega Law is a reporter for The Christian Post. Reach her at: firstname.lastname@example.org She's also the author of the book, What Is Happening to Me? How to Defeat Your Unseen Enemy Follow her on Twitter: @jlawcp Facebook: JeannieOMusic