Pure Flix Productions produced Do You Believe? for theaters, following the success of their hit movie God’s Not Dead and now Do You Believe? is available on DVD. The story of this film follows a dozen people moving in different directions who all long for something more.
Their lives all intersect around one important question, “Do you believe in God?”
Each one experiences power in the Cross of Christ, even if they don’t yet believe it. Stories, characters and themes in the movie of belief demonstrated by action and the power of the Cross are multi-faceted, multi-dimensional, and multi-layered.
This movie has raised the bar of artistry in faith-based films. Piercing and compelling, this is a film for every man and woman, for any time, and for especially these time.
Sonoma Christian Home had the privilege of interviewing Actor Senyo Amoaku (A-muah-ku), who performed the role of Kriminal in this movie. SCH Editor at Large Dr Diane Howard reports.
SCH: You have worked with some amazing directors, actors, as well as with most of the major film studios. How did you get into acting?
SA: Up until about 10 years ago, I had been a Hip Hop musician in California; but I wasn’t feeling fulfilled. My music manager encouraged me to try acting. I was reluctant at first, but I worked as acting talent in many projects that led to performing in the Expendables with Sylvester Stallone, and then with many veteran actors in Do You Believe?
SCH: You brought realism, authenticity, and believability to the role you played. How did you personally relate to the character Kriminal?
SA: After my family moved to California from the Mid-West, at about 13-14 I became caught up in a big gang because I wanted to belong. I personally experienced and saw gang life. I also sympathetically saw gang members as complex and not as one-dimensional bad people. I played Kriminal as open to the life of the pastor from whom he stole (but did not kill).
SCH: How have you seen God’ hand in your own life?
SA: When I was involved in gangs during my early teen years, I would be gone from home for days, even weeks, without calling. I did reckless actions without care. I had been raised in the church and always knew I was heading down a bad one way street in my teens.
My mother pleaded with me but nothing would work, until one day I was called out in class by a friend as being a gangster and it didn’t feel like an honor but a curse and disgrace. I then realized I no longer wanted the gang life, I got into an argument and fist fight with the gang’s leader during art class. While in detention, he saw that my life was more valuable than being a gangster and patsy.
He let me out, for which I am eternally grateful. It wasn’t until years later before I was officially saved by the Grace of God, but in my heart I know God saved me way back then through that student calling me out and I’ve never been arrested or in jail so that’s more than enough evidence for me. By no means do I live a perfect life, but it certainly I am eternally blessed!
SCH: Who has had the greatest influence on your life?
SA: My Mom has been my greatest spiritual inspiration. She raised me in church and has been thrilled that her prayers for me have been answered.
SCH: What do you see God doing with faith-based, Christian, and redemptive media?
SA: I think they are all becoming more relevant: applicable to every man and woman. This genre is meeting people where they are. Faith-based movies are becoming more vulnerable, authentic, and believable. They have more and more breadth and depth.
SCH: What was it like to work with the Pure Flix directors, cast & crew?
SA: Producer Russell Wolf, who passed away recently of ALS, was a very special man. Director Jon Gunn led the actors and crew to produce honest, engaging, captivating scenes with quality acting based on depth. He directed us in roles that were out-of-the-box and against type for most of us, directing us in intense performances that would lead the audiences to be motivated to take action.
I enjoyed working with Shwayze, who played Pretty Boy. He had also come from a musical world into acting. Further, I especially enjoyed working with Ted McGinley, who played the pastor.
SCH: How has performing your character impacted you personally?
SA: Working with this movie has been like winning a sweepstakes in many ways. Most importantly, it has drawn me closer to the Lord and helped me to be more careful with my choices.
SCH: How do you see this movie as relevant today?
SA: Audiences across the nation will be able to relate to the different stories in honest and authentic ways. The stories present life’s challenges as complex, without simple answers. It’s very relatable with its realistic situations.
SCH: How has this movie impacted your family and friends?
SA: My mother, family, and even my friends from my troubled teen years have loved the movie.
SCH: How do you think the DVD will impact viewers?
SA: I think it will have a strong, emotional impact on viewers, especially at home.
This film is more than a movie. It challenges all who see it with the question, Do You Believe? This engaging, captivating movie is for every man and woman, for any time. But especially for such a time as this.
Written by Diane Howard, Ph.D. (Performance Studies), dianehoward.com
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