United States, (PressExposure) March 22, 2009 -- One of the most powerful and moving big-screen documentaries of 2009, The Cross: The Arthur Blessitt Story, will makes its East Coast premier March 24th at Orlando, Floridaâs Holy Land Experience, the interactive theme park that brings the sights, sounds, and truths of the Bible alive to visitors of all ages.
The feature-length film follows Arthur Blessitt, a one-time California hippie and full-time messenger of the gospel, from Christmas Day 1969 when he started out on foot from Hollywood, California carrying a twelve-foot cross, to the conclusion of his 38,102 mile journey 39 years later, on June 13, 2008 in Zanzibar off the coast of Tanzania. Blessittâs solitary pilgrimage took him through 315 countries and all seven continents, where he shared the message of Godâs love and mercy to individuals from all walks of lifeâand a wide variety of religious traditions.
âFar too often religious differences have caused the cross to become a symbol of conflict,â explained Blessitt. âPart of my mission over the years as Iâve walked around the world has been to help people understand the cross for what it truly is: the ultimate symbol of Godâs love for all humanity.â
During his five-decade journey, which the Guinness Book of World Records lists as the âWorldâs Longest Walk,â Blessitt had the privilege of praying on Egyptâs Mount Sinai, being welcomed to Rome by Pope John Paul II, sleeping in the residence of the late Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, and meeting untold thousands of individuals from all walks of life. Whether speaking to the Reverend Billy Graham, visiting with friendly Israeli and Palestinian Liberation Army soldiers in the Middle East, lending an ear to the pain and despair of angry citizens in Holland, or standing alongside hard-working farm hands and laborers in a thousand places around the globe, Blessitt embraced everyone he met with his message of Godâs mercy. âFrom start to finish, this has been a mission of love to the whole world,â he said.
A project of Gener8Xion Entertainment, a California-based studio whose popular and critically acclaimed films include Omega Code and One Night With the King, The Cross offers an up-close view of the motivation and faith of one-man as he seeks to fulfill the unique goal of sharing the gospel through the emblem of Christâs suffering. The filmâs director, Matt Crouch, recalled that as he dove into the project and worked closely with Blessitt, he was drawn to find out exactly what it was that motivated the simple man carrying a rustic cross. âWas he a nut? A fanatic? Or was there something deep and profound behind what he was doing?â said Crouch. âMaybe he was like the Old Testament prophets who walked the earth. I needed to find out, and I really think this film helps give an understanding of the depths of faith that move someone to accomplish what Arthur Blessitt has done.â
On the same night that The Cross premiers at Orlandoâs Holy Land Experience, the movie will also be premiering on the West Coast at Graumanâs Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, where Blessitt began his pilgrimage back in 1969. Jan Crouch, co-founder of Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), which owns and operates the Holy Land Experience, will help co-host the event in Orlando along with the movieâs producer Matt Crouch, who will be on hand via satellite from the Red Carpet Hollywood premier.
âThis is going to be a unique and historical event at two locations thousands of miles away,â said Paul Crouch Jr., TBNâs Chief of Staff, who will also be on hand at the Hollywood premier. âAs one audience enjoys the film in the very community where Arthur Blessitt began his journey so many years ago, another group will be experiencing the impact of his spiritual odyssey in an atmosphere that recreates the splendor and impact of the Holy Landâwhere Jesus lived, died, and rose again! This will be an unforgettable evening for all who are involved!â
The March 24th premier of The Cross at the Holy Land Experience is a free event and is open to the public on a first-come-first-served basis. The evening will begin with a pre-showing event at The Garden Tomb from 7:45 to 8:00 p.m., followed by the movie premier showing at 8:25 in the Theater of Life.
For more information on The Cross: The Arthur Blessitt Story, visit http://www.thecrossfilm.com.
About Holy Land Experience
The Holy Land Experience is an exclusive interactive theme park in Orlando, Florida that combines innovative music, drama, and historical exhibits to offer visitors a face to face encounter with the transforming truths of the Bible. Bringing together the sights, sounds, tastes, and feel of the Bible world, HLE is a uniquely educational and inspiring experience. Its structures and exhibits accurately characterize the style, architecture, and settings of ancient Jerusalem, while its lively presentations provide visitors with one-of-a-kind scriptural perspectives. Colorful and dramatic re-creations of the ministry of Jesus, unforgettable stories from both the Old and New Testaments, glorious miracles, and life-changing triumphs will move and inspire HLE guests of all ages. For more information on the Holy Land Experience, visit http://www.holylandexperience.com.