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Let There Be Light a Family Affair for Kevin, Sam Sorbo

Chris Carpenter - Director of Internet Programming

With each passing day, the world seems to turn just a shade grayer. Family values grow just a bit fainter while the moral compass between right and wrong heads just a little further south.

In the new faith-based movie Let There Be Light, Sol Harkins is a world-renowned atheist and lousy father determined to make the world come to his side of the argument.  But a near death experience challenges his simplest assumptions about the world, shifting Sol’s moral compass in the opposite direction.

Opening in theaters nationwide this weekend, Let There Be Light is a family affair.  Written, directed, and starring husband and wife team Kevin and Sam Sorbo, the movie also features the acting debut of their sons Braeden and Shane Sorbo.  The movie is executive produced by conservative commentator Sean Hannity.

I spoke with the Sorbo’s recently to discuss the film, the current state of faith in American culture and why fatherhood is so under valued and under attack in the United States.

In your words, what is foundation for your new movie Let There Be Light?

Sam Sorbo:  It’s a movie about hope. It’s a movie that instills hope. In a broader context, it’s a movie about two people who are dealing with grief. One of them is dealing with his grief alone, and the other one is dealing with grief through her Christian faith. It’s also a movie about fatherhood. Kevin plays a father who is struggling to find his identity as a parent. These days, our culture kind of denigrates the man to being just the paycheck, right? And this is a father who is divorced and sees himself as basically the paycheck and unappreciated. Let There Be Light will make you laugh, cry and stand up and want to cheer.

Kevin Sorbo: There are a number of story lines throughout, and they sort of all come together at the end of the movie. But it is certainly a man, that to the outside world they think he has it all, but for himself and his own private domain he’s a very tortured soul. He’s a very discontent person. But something pretty amazing happens to him that makes him realize it’s time to seek a different path in his life. The only person that really knows him is his ex-wife, even though they have been apart for eight years.  Ultimately, this becomes a love story more than anything else.

Kevin, you had a role as an atheist professor in the highly successful God’s Not Dead.  How is your character Sol Harkins the same as Professor Radisson and how is he different?

Kevin: I think atheists as a whole certainly have a common denominator amongst them just like people who believe in God and Jesus have a common denominator. But this guy’s in the big leagues. This guy is like a (Richard) Dawkins. He’s a (Christopher) Hitchens.  He’s known around the world; he’s a big rock star in that “hating God” world.  I have studied enough about those guys. I’ve seen them in interviews. I’ve seen them in debates against people like John Lennox. It’s fascinating to me that people spend so much time and so much energy hating something they don’t believe in.

But as I tell people who ask, “So you have claimed another atheist?” I said “Well there’s more than two atheists in the world.” If Clint Eastwood can do seven cowboy movies with the same character, (so can I).  I don’t want to just preach to the choir with movies like this. I want to make sure that people across the aisle have a chance to look at it. And they can go in after and attack it, but I’ve had agnostic and atheists write into me, and I’ve met them at airports, and they say “You know what, I’m not of the same mind like you are, but your movie really hit a chord with me on a couple things. And to me, if you can get a nugget in there out to those people just to make them think a little bit more then it’s all worthwhile.

With the current state of faith in American culture, why is Let There Be Light such an important film at this time?

Sam: Here’s the weird thing. A year and a half ago, when I first conceived of this and started working on it, we were in the throes of an election, and I don’t think anybody foresaw where we would end up. But through that process, the American people have recognized that their voice matters, and that they can make a shift if they really desire it as a body.

Everyday there’s a new revelation. There’s somebody new. So I think now more than ever, the public is aware of the smut that comes out of Hollywood.  I got to the point where I was a little fed up, so I stopped going to the theater. I would leave the theater basically be saying “Okay that’s two-and-a half hours I’ll never get back,” because most of the movies you see in the theater, while they are a nice ride you’re not uplifted. You don’t feel like your life is better. You exit the theater and everything is just as bad as when you went in and there’s no hope, because that’s the message of the culture today. The message of the culture is that bullies win, and there’s no hope.

Earlier in our conversation, you mentioned the degradation of fathers in our modern culture.  I am always disturbed when I see scenes of Dad’s not being able to relate to their kids.  Your character, Sol, is sort of a crummy part-time Dad.  But he doesn’t need to be.  Why do you think fatherhood is so under-valued and under attack in this country?

Kevin: I think it’s a combination of a lot things. Even in the 1960’s, look at the minority percent of those kids being raised without a father.  It was around 20 percent. We are at 80% today. I think the government is to blame for that. I think the media is to blame for that. I think you have to look at television shows and sitcoms. How do they portray fathers? They are dopey. They are dumb. They are fat. The mom is hot and the kids make fun of dad, and mom makes fun of dad. We have just relegated his role to be sort of the dumpy loser guy. And you know, we need to get that back.

Sam: We have a crisis of fatherhood in this country, and we have a crisis with our Father in Heaven as a country. That’s an organic theme that just emerged from this storytelling, but I will say that this film tests very well with women. Women love this film. Men love it even more. And it’s that kind of movie that for the ladies out there, if they want to invite their husband, their brother, their father, or their son to say thank you, this is that movie.

Final question, we have seen a significant rise in faith-based films over the last decade.  I believe we are at the precipice, a place where Christian entertainment can become part of the mainstream in the near future. Do you believe we are there as a medium or still a ways off?

Sam: The idea that we are on a precipice, I shy away from that is because it makes it sound so dire, but it’s not entirely wrong. We are always on a precipice. There’s always the opportunity to shift the culture, and you’re right, there are a lot of cultural movers out there that are gaining inroads in Hollywood. We are having a little bit of push back from theaters, because they have a bit of a threshold for faith films that they seem not to apply to the standard fair that comes from Hollywood. I find that kind of interesting.

Watch the movie trailer for Let There Be Light:

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