"Return to the Hiding Place," the thrilling story of Dutch Christian watchmaker Corrie ten Boom and how she risked life and limb to protect Jews from Nazis soldiers, became available for widespread distribution via DVD and iTunes Tuesday. The film, which features Hollywood veteran Jonathan Rhys-Davies ("Lord of the Rings," "Raiders of the Lost Ark"), is a sequel to "The Hiding Place," which was presented by Billy Graham in 1975.
The film revisits the true story through the perspective of Dutch resistance fighter Hans Poley (David Thomas Jenkins), a young Dutchman who escaped capture in Holland during their occupation in World War II. He's subsequently rescued by ten Boom (Mimi Sagadin) and her family, who recruit an army of youths to protect Jews from the atrocities of the Nazis. Some of the Jewish teenagers help the resistance during the action-packed movie, which is full of daring rescues, explosions and close calls with the Gestapo.
"Return to the Hiding Place," which has won 19 film festival awards and was shown during the Sundance Film Festival, also highlights how the ten Boom family was motivated to help the desperate Jews by their Christian morals and beliefs.
"There's no greater love of any man who would lay down his life for a friend," one of the freedom fighters says during the heart-pounding trailer.
The movie is being released in association with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
"It is a great piece, well-produced and powerful. 'Return to the Hiding Place' is a true story that tells another side of the historical account of Corrie ten Boom in the original 'The Hiding Place' film. This release is very timely and has modern-day application as anti-Semitism is rearing its head again in many parts of Europe and the United States," he said.
Many find the young resistance fighters inspiring, especially in a modern age where the Islamic State terror group and other terrorist organizations in the Middle East are persecuting minority religious groups.
"There is an extraordinary silence in the West," said Rhys-Davies on Adam Carolla's podcast Monday night. "Basically, Christianity in the Middle East and in Africa is being wiped out — I mean not just ideologically but physically, and people are being enslaved and killed because they are Christians. And your country and my country are doing nothing about it."
"We have lost our moral compass completely, and, unless we find it, we're going to lose our civilization. I think we're going to lose Western European Christian civilization, anyway," the Welsh actor added.
"Return to The Hiding Place," which didn't have the backing of a big Hollywood studio, was made with the intention to help inspire others to do the right thing.
Director Peter Spencer said in a statement shared with The Christian Post: "I made the movie with my family and I hope I can share it with other families across America and the world. We hope that this movie serves more than acting as a history lesson, but will inspire people, young and old, to take a stand against similar injustices today."
When Spencer and his family screened the film in August at 650 churches around the country last month, he compared the brave young heroes of the Dutch resistance to today's youth, who can be apathetic about world issues.
"[The teenage Nazi resistance group's] lives were in danger, and 'Return to the Hiding Place' shows to young people that if you stay faithful to Christ he can do things through you that you never dreamed you could do," the director said at Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, Calif.
They "changed the face of Europe's history," Spencer added.
"Return to the Hiding Place" also stars Craig Robert Young, Rachel Spencer Hewitt, Stass Klassen and Joanie Stewart. A special 40th anniversary collector's edition is also available with the film and 1975 classic "The Hiding Place."