After more than a decade of hard work, Final Solution is about to be released on video and DVD.
Director Cris Krusen, who also wrote the film, says there were many times when the project looked as though it might never be made. However, since post-production wrapped up last summer, the film has won numerous awards and been featured at film festivals around the world.
Now, as the film heads for home video release, endorsements have been pouring in. ChristianWeek gave it “4 out of 4 stars”; Desmond Tutu calls the film “powerful”, Hollywood producer Ralph Winter says it is “terrific”, and popular speaker Ken Davis said Final Solution “touched the deepest part of my soul.”
The film, which is based on a true story, is set in South Africa in the last days of apartheid. An angry white man, Gerrit Wolfaardt, is active in a paramilitary unit. Inspired by Hitler, he proposes a plan of mass genocide to wipe out the black population, thereby restoring South Africa to the whites-”just as God intended.”
Wolfaardt’s diabolical plan is met with preliminary government approval, but before he can carry it out, his belief system is thrown into chaos. Through a beautiful university student named Celeste (who later becomes his wife) and through two books, he realizes that blacks and whites are ‘from one blood’, and therefore brothers. One of the two books is the Bible.
ChristianWeek reviewer Paul Boge was impressed with how Scripture fit naturally into the story without falling into the major pitfall of many Christian films.
“Some films find themselves so compelled to present a message that they manipulate the plot and characters to force a desired outcome,” he wrote. “But Final Solution starts with the best ingredient found in every good story-great characters.”
Krusen became interested in the issue of apartheid in the 1980’s, but returned to the idea of producing a movie on the subject in 1995. His research led him to two men whose real-life stories are the basis for the film. Although some dramatic license has been taken, their stories are essentially true: Wolfaardt, who really was a violent racist, is now an ordained minister (he lives in Colorado), and Moses Moremi — who was a victim of violence — is now one of Gerrit’s friends.
Krusen told a reporter for Christian Retailing: “Racism is an evil thing and apartheid in South Africa-and slavery and Jim Crow in the United States-were evil things, evil systems that have created cycles of destruction and hatred. But the message doesn’t end there. That’s the historical backdrop, the context. The overriding message of the film is to show how even the most hard-hearted person is capable of change. Gerrit Wolfaardt was an evil man. Yet he changed. If you were to meet the real Gerrit today, you would realize how true a statement this is. People are capable of change. This is the glorious good news. Jesus came to set us free from the power of sin.”
Final Solution releases tomorrow on VHS and DVD (the DVD is loaded with bonus features). The outstanding soundtrack, composed by John Sponsler and Tom Gire, will also be released.
To view a trailer or read more endorsements or articles, visit the website.
To read the Director's story on the making of the film, click here.