Monthly Newsletter
- October 2018 -

You shall be holy, for I am holy.
1 Peter 1:16

While living in New York City during the 1970s, I pursued several vocations simultaneously.  I wanted to be a writer (both a playwright and screenwriter), a film director, and an actor!  A good friend of mine, who only wanted to be an actor, asked me at the time, “Kip, what is it you really want to do?” (Kip was my nickname growing up.)

To my surprise, I found myself responding to my friend with these words: “I want to be a holy man.” How strange! Yet, it also felt so right. I did, indeed, want to be a holy man!

Actor’s Headshot – 1978
Let me give you some context…

During that time, I lived off Ninth Avenue near 42nd Street in what is called Hell’s Kitchen. On that section of 42nd Street, day or night, you could find people openly selling cheap watches, drugs, even their own bodies. Peep shows and pornographic movie theatres abounded along with theatres that seemed to always play kung-fu movies. I took in a number of the latter, including Enter the Dragon with Bruce Lee. 

Having studied judo as a boy, I had a natural interest in the mechanics of the martial arts. But I sensed something more than physicality in many of the actors playing in the low-budget action films I watched. For lack of a better word, it seemed to me they were drawing on something spiritual to perform their acrobatic feats. And it got me wondering… Is it possible that a spiritual dimension exists; a world we cannot see which is, nonetheless, real? The questioning provoked a search on my part, a search for truth which I hoped would end with me becoming a holy man. (And give me the ability to take out twenty muggers on 42nd Street if I needed to!)

For the next several years, I delved into numerous spiritual practices, including (I’m sorry to say) the occult. Thankfully, I didn’t stay long on the "dark side" but moved on to the study of more mainstream religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam. One major religion, of course, was still missing from my search – Christianity. I kept putting it off. I’m sorry to say I didn’t have much regard for Christians.

Searching for Truth…
Then one day, I bought a King James Bible at a Christian Science reading room and read the Sermon on the Mount. I was transfixed; overwhelmed by the words and wisdom of Jesus. Here, indeed, was a holy man.  Another year would pass before I came to also believe he was the Son of God.
Nowadays, no one calls me “Kip” (except for family members who haven’t gotten with the program). Furthermore, I’m still trying to reach that austere goal I pronounced for myself all those years ago. I’m still trying to be a holy man.  Here’s where things stand:

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:14-15)
40 years later, I still want to be a holy man.

With love and blessings, 

Cris (aka "Kip") Krusen
Messenger Films

And Now This Word...
Fifteen months ago, Jared Neher, who works as a producer and editor at Messenger Films, began the restoration work on our award-winning film, Final Solution. That restoration is now complete and we hope to re-release the film early next year! 

Here’s a brief Behind-the-Scenes video to pull back the curtain on the process of the movie’s revamped sound design.  Hope you enjoy it! 
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Cristóbal Krusen is a filmmaker and author. He founded Messenger Films in 1988.

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