“Bring it on,” says Jerry Zandstra, directing his challenge at Hollywood and the mainstream American film community as a whole. We are sitting in a Concord hotel room with the pastor, production executive, former Republican political operative and candidate, and most recently, actor, just hours before the official New Hampshire premiere of his Christian film, The Genesis Code. The film, which centers on the intersection of faith and science, has been widely billed as a conservative, Christian “answer” to Hollywood films and the mainstream American entertainment industry.
“When we started…our intention was, well I know you can’t say this anymore but I’m going to say it anyway, was to put the crosshairs right straight on Michael Moore, put the crosshairs right straight on Bill Maher,” says Zandstra, who served as the production executive for and acted in the film. He offers a harsh assessment of liberal filmmakers like Moore, accusing him of exploiting American tragedies like Columbine and 9/11, only to poke fun at those that seek to promote positivity. “Conservatives are tired of this…we’re tired of being mocked, especially in films,” Zandstra says with passion, and goes on to state that he hopes The Genesis Code will provide a counterpoint to Moore’s films.
Also in the room is former U.S. Senate candidate and Tea Party celebrity, Nevada’s Sharron Angle, also in town to promote the film, as she has in several other politically charged states including Iowa and South Carolina. “We need to be promoting things that put family in a good light, that put faith in a good light,” says Angle, explaining why she has volunteered to promote the film.
Zandstra is eager to note that The Genesis Code is not your typical religious film, a genre often noted for poor production values and trite storylines. He estimates that his studio, American Saga Productions, spent approximately $5 million making the film, whose cast includes two Oscar winners and conservative favorite Fred Thompson.
Early feedback on the film seems to bolster Zandstra’s assertion; regardless of opinions on the subject matter and message, reviewers have largely agreed that The Genesis Code is a quality film. Referring to the griping that often goes on in the conservative community about Hollywood, Angle says, “instead of complaining, let’s compete.” The Genesis Code is clearly aiming to do just that.
Video from our conversation: