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Frisbee: The Life And Death Of A Hippie Preacher
Frisbee The Life And Death Of A Hippie Preacher
Actor: Lonnie Frisbee
Director: David Di Sabatino
Genres: Educational, Documentary
NR     2008     0hr 55min

Imagine if John the Baptist came of age during the 1960s counter culture, the charisma of Jim Morrison flowing from the mantle of an Old Testament prophet. Meet Lonnie Frisbee, a seeker turned Jesus freak evangelist who co...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Lonnie Frisbee
Director: David Di Sabatino
Genres: Educational, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Educational, History
Studio: Passion River
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 05/27/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 0hr 55min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 6
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Paradigm Reversing
Jedidiah Palosaari | Fes, Morocco | 01/15/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I gotta say, there's no way I can be unbiased in this review. My dad, Jim Palosaari, did the narration, so take everything with a grain of salt.

Loved it. David di Sabatino is the premier historian of the Jesus Movement, having more copiously researched this unique event more than any other. He was the one to do this project. He meticulously reveals who Lonnie was and how he was treated, framing his story within the larger thematic genre of Biblical literature.

This film is about the guy who comes the closest to being the founding father of the Jesus Movement. It was due to him that Calvary Chapel and Vineyard exist at all. He was there not only on the nights when the Spirit came down initially in those two churches, back when they were an Assembly of God and a Calvary respectively, but he was the impetus for their growth and the movement of the Spirit. He was the evangelist, healer, and exorcist of those churches- not Chuck Smith or John Wimbur, for all the good that they did do. He was there at Fuller Seminary the night Peter Wagner first realized about Signs and Wonders. This movie describes the power that flowed through Lonnie, which even the skeptics couldn't deny. People wary of charlatans were impressed at how the presence of the Holy Spirit was palpable when Lonnie was present.

As the film's website asks, What do you do when the founder of your church turns out to be gay? What do you do when the impetus of the growth of your movement struggles with bitterness and doesn't seem to care about working on a healthy relationship with his wife? What do you do when a man obviously filled with the Holy Spirit dies of AIDS? This is the story the movie addresses. David di Sabatino calls this a Biblical story, for it is the story of how God uses tragically flawed people to show His glory greater. He uses Deborah, Gideon, Sampson, Delilah, David, Peter... the list goes on and on, for not many of us were wise in the eyes of the world, or great, or glorious. That is the brilliance of Christianity, and of Christ's message. He uses the weak to confound the strong.

After watching the movie you *must* view the extras. This DVD was done from a local PBS special in San Francisco, and not from the longer version touring film festivals and winning awards. As such half the footage is in the extras, and explains a good deal more of the background. It is unfortunate that the footage couldn't have been more incorporated into the storyline itself for the DVD.

This movie speaks powerfully to me. When I was 13, living on the Big Island of Hawaii, I briefly met Lonnie, just before he died. He was leading a prayer time, and he laid hands on me, and the Spirit came down powerfully, perhaps for the first time for me, as Lonnie prophesied about events in my future.

I think of my Dad, and the things he's done for the Kingdom, with thousands coming to Christ through his work. But he's made mistakes at times, and like Lonnie, I am impressed at how he's been written out of histories as inconvenient. I think of myself, and the struggles I have in beliefs that don't fit with the Evangelical mainstream, giving me an evolutionary scarlet E. Doors have closed to me in this world, both in the past and the future. I think of how we all have ways we are the 100th sheep, and ostracized because we don't fit the mold- or ostracize others because they don't fit our box of who God would want. That's what this movie is about.

Lest I forget, the narration- sublime! Deep and resonate, Palosaari chooses to read it more as a story than in the typical narrator's voice, which perhaps fits this particular film better, as it is story, and myth, of who we are.

This movie will shock you. The histories many of us have grown up with are not quite what we were always told. Our paradigms of reality are in the mood for a shifting. This documentary will tell you the truth about a great man and great churches. But hopefully it will do more than that. It will help you be amazed at the way God interacts with His people. After all, He's not a tame Lion."
Don't Watch This Movie (unless you want your life changed)
Brenda Poklacki | Trabuco Canyon, CA United States | 01/23/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I had the privilege of knowing Lonnie Frisbee in the late 60s, early 70s when he preached in the streets of Southern California and began attracting thousands of barefooted hippies to the Calvary Chapel Movement. After seeing this film in a couple of it's incarnations I can say that it not only captures the sights, sounds and emotions of the Jesus People Revolution but it also challenges us today in our presuppositions of what it means to be "a Christian." My life was changed by the ministry of this man of God, Lonnie Frisbee. I hope many will see this film and be encouraged to seek for themselves the love of God found in Jesus."
God's knows
Theo Ballgame | Cambria, CA United States | 02/19/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The old saying about 'God working in mysterious ways' seems to be the point of this fine and thought provoking film. Was/is Frisbee's message of the power of God's love made moot by his failings? Or, is the message validated because of what Frisbee went through? I attend a Vineyard church and when I found out about Frisbee and his early association with Vineyard, I started asking "The Elders" about Frisbee, and was met with...blank looks. Of course, that peeked my interest, so the movie was an eye opener. After viewing i was left with numerous questions and thoughts. Question: is Frisbee dismissed nowadays because he freely admitted that his path to God was fueled by drugs? Or is it because he was Gay? Or, my God, was there some sort of political battle going on (ego-battles? In the church family? Unbelievable!). Either way, whatever the truth was, or how history is written by those that remain, the Truth, as this film conveys, is that God does work in mysterious ways, and does use, at times, the most unexpected or peculiar messenger. Like Jesus, Lonnie was a radical who shook up the establishment and caused people to think about what being a Christian was all about. After mulling over the film and it's message for a few days, I had a thought: maybe God, all knowing, all about love, foreseeing the onslaught of the AIDS epidemic just a decade away, used Lonnie as his messenger--a Gay, acid imbibing hippie? Sure. God's like that."
Great Documentary
W. Smith | Calgary, Alberta Canada | 01/28/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"My wife and I talked about this movie for days after watching it. We still refer to it from time to time. One the one hand, you've got this REALLY interesting character who seemed to be a key figure in the Jesus Movement; on the other, you're seeing what God did in the lives of many during this time period. Kind of a documentary on 2 people at once if you know what I mean."