The pen and praise of Rich Mullins impacted contemporary Christian music forever.
Sing Your Praise to the Lord
And, certainly, Awesome God.
Ragamuffin: The True Story of Rich Mullins is an independent film that presents the life of one of our generation’s most prolific songwriters. Mullins died on September 19, 1997, at the age of 41 after a single-car accident.
Ragamuffin is probably one of the most honest “based on a true story” movies ever produced. Mullins’ own words, taken from transcripts and recordings, are the basis for much of the script’s dialogue.
“We originally had a 300 page script,” says David Leo Schultz, a California-based comedian and actor who spearheaded the mission to bring Mullins’ story to film. “We had so much good stuff left by Rich. There was no way we’d get away with a 5-hour movie. It was tough cutting it down to 2 ½ hours.”
Schultz wrote, produced and stars in the film as Mullins’ long-time friend Sam Howard. The filmmaker’s penchant for authenticity continues into the film’s casting. The real Sam Howard portrays his own father in the film and Mullins’ brother David plays a radio DJ who interviewed the singer/songwriter. Mitch McVicker, who was in the jeep with Mullins the night of the fateful crash, plays himself.
But this is the story of Rich Mullins, and for that part Schultz cast Michael Koch. Koch had limited acting experience but his life did have similarities to Mullins’. Koch and Schultz had been college roommates, and, like Rich Mullins, the two had once sought out Brennan Manning for spiritual instruction. Mullins had taught music to children on Native American reservations in the Four Corners. Koch teaches music in Michigan.
Michael Koch becomes Rich Mullins in this film. His attitude, his delivery, even minor facial expressions and hand movements evoke the essence of the man. He brings Rich Mullins to life.
And Mullins’ was a messy life. The music and lyrics of some of Christian music’s most iconic songs of worship were birthed through struggles, addictions, and insecurities – and decades of seeking God.
Ragamuffin: The True Story of Rich Mullins succeeds in portraying the grit along with the glory, and, in doing so, presents a picture of hope and grace – and finding hope and grace in Jesus Christ is the True Story of Rich Mullins.
The film is on a self-promoted tour of churches and other venues throughout the country. For information on bringing this film to your area, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.