Superspreader: A Soul-Moving Experience
Superspreader, a new documentary by director Josh Franer, is an exquisite film that places us in the middle of the inspirational journey of one of the more controversial figures of the COVID lockdowns and the activist riots of 2020 and 2021. Meet Christian worship leader Sean Feucht.
Future generations will look back at the COVID-19 pandemic with far greater clarity and sensibility than any of us can today. Superspreader is a captivating, soul-moving experience for us now and also promises to be an integral exhibit for generations to come as they piece together the out-and-out madness that was this pandemic.
Social media and corporate news outlets relished painting Feucht as a dangerous, irresponsible contagion to society. The question is: Were they right?
Superspreader gives us a front-row seat with Feucht and his family as they travel to over 150 cities with one purpose in mind: to create events that enable people to encounter the presence of God through music, worship, transformational messages, and good, old-fashioned altar calls.
Your first thought might be: Shouldn’t the local churches do that? The answer is yes, but the film quickly reminds us how local and federal mandates shut down the churches and in some cases forbade worshippers from even singing. Meanwhile, these same government bureaucrats deemed it essential to permit liquor stores, casinos, and strip clubs to remain open.
The film opens with mesmeric scenes of raging wildfires, which casts a marvelous metaphor for the unstoppable spread of things more powerful than we. In this context, one spread is the fear of a seemingly unbeatable virus that brings sickness and death to cripple a society; the other spread is the unquenchable love of God that brings healing and life to transform a society.
Superspreader poignantly displays the juxtaposition of these two opposing forces as each one works to proliferate the power of what it carries. As Feucht and his team boldly ignite the fires of revival in a quest to bring light to dark places and hope to lost souls, their opponents wage a vicious war against him in a quest to shut down his gospel road show.
Early on, the film plays a compelling montage of news clips that quickly snap us back to the early days of the pandemic. We are reminded of how the so-called experts instituted mask mandates, social distancing, and stringent lockdowns to halt the spread of the virus. While most people acquiesced to these unprecedented policies, including most pastors, only time would tell if these measures were effective at keeping us safe — and at what price.
As the film unfolds, we behold a battle of love versus hate, revival versus riot, and hope versus fear. While we are evenly presented with both forces, the proposition demands we must choose a side. Don’t be surprised that your choice may change by the time the movie is over.
Director Josh Franer faithfully and tirelessly travels with Feucht, city after city, giving us up-close-and-personal interviews, inspiring concert collages, and moving vignettes of powerful preaching. Feucht explains that growing up overseas in a missionary family compelled him as an adult to travel to some of the most dangerous and restrictive nations on the planet. His goal was always the same: to gather people together to worship the Lord so that lives would be changed and cultures transformed.
Having long seen the devastating effects of totalitarian rule upon the human soul, when Feucht saw it happening here at home, he knew he had to act. As a California resident, he was strategically positioned in one of the most restrictive states in the country, and so, act he did.
The cinematography is breathtaking as we watch the outdoor events grow from a few hundred on the Golden Gate Bridge to over 35,000 on the National Mall. The adroit camera work places us in the heart of these events where we can hear the power of the music and feel the hunger of the crowds.
Some of the most stirring moments are the altar call invitations. It is entirely undoing to watch uncountable people rush the stages in need of healing, faith, and freedom. We get a close-up look at the remnants of repentance relinquished on the platform. Cigarettes, drugs, vapes, and needles are all left as an offering to the Lord in exchange for rebirth into new life.
Franer fairly presents us with both sides of the story. Rolling Stone magazine ran a story about Feucht titled Jesus Christ Superspreader? We watch opposing formularies from popular progressive podcasters and pastors who urge Feucht to “stop killing people” by recklessly spreading the virus. We also hear the supportive voices of familiar pastors and prominent leaders who urge him to continue with his mission.
Almost prophetically, we are shown a clip of Billy Graham preaching against the horrors of Marxism and communism. It was chilling to hear his sermon from 1954 accurately describe the battle between Christianity and communism for the souls of humankind today. It almost seemed as if, from the heavens, Graham was cheering Feucht on.
While the film features plentiful clips of Feucht’s rousing music, we are also treated to a fittingly robust score that ominously frames some disturbing scenes of the violent opposition he encountered. Feucht’s movement, called Let Us Worship, was relentlessly attacked for not only placing lives in danger by potentially spreading the virus but also for culturally appropriating ethnic-minority cities with his “white Christian nationalism.”
We watch Antifa and BLM Inc. warriors mount dreadfully warlike offensive brigades against these events. Often dressed in tactical gear and behaving like Orcs, these angry mobs destroy expensive sound equipment, assault team members, and even threaten Feucht’s wife, Kate, and their children at knifepoint.
As unthinkable as these attacks are to watch, we also learn that a large segment of the Church, including many prominent pastors, spoke out vehemently against Let Us Worship. Kate Feucht tearfully explains that while the violent protestors were predicted to seethe, it was more devastating to have friends and fellow believers outspokenly oppose them. “We just want people to like us again,” she said.
As only God can orchestrate, redemption and revival are rarely thwarted.
When the riots broke out in Minneapolis following the death of George Floyd, Feucht wanted to host an event in that city, but the opposition was too intense. Enter Dr. Pastor Charles Kuruku, who told Feucht that he must come and bring the power of worship to his devastated city.
Intense as the resistance initially was, it quickly gave way to one of the most joyous parts of the film. As the songs of praise arose from the faith-filled worshippers and Pastor Kuruku poured his heart out to the crowds, the most unexpected thing happened: Portable water tanks were set up, and people began receiving the gift of baptism on the very corner where Floyd had died!
If ever there was a powerful depiction of beauty rising from ashes, it was this scene from Superspreader.
I attended two Let Us Worship Events: one in the Bronx, N.Y., and the other on the National Mall, in D.C. I was honored to meet Feucht and his team; Pastor Kuruku; producer Michael Mauldin; and Franer. I confidently avow that they are the genuine article. Their joy is infectious, their mission marvelous, and their devotion to Christ authentic.
It was equally astounding to watch Franer’s team skillfully manage their burdensome equipment and produce such an elegant, prolific film that will surely melt hearts and open minds for generations to come.
Everyone everywhere must watch this film, lest we forget what we have been forced to live through. And may we never forget the power of God to heal a heart, heal a city, and heal a nation. No matter the circumstance, and no matter the opposition: Let Us Worship!
For tickets and information, visit superspreaderfilm.com.
Do you plan on seeing Superspreader, which opens in theaters on Sept. 29?
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