Paul Croshaw discusses his new film about how listening to Dennis Prager led him to conservatism and faith.
Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Paul Croshaw, a filmmaker who used to be a liberal agnostic activist in Democratic politics. He is now a churching going conservative after having listened to Dennis Prager on the radio. He is the director/producer of the feature 90-minute documentary Baseball, Dennis & the French which stars Dennis Prager.
FP: Paul Croshaw, welcome to Frontpage Interview.
Congratulations on your new documentary. Before we get to that, tell us about how you were once a liberal and the transformation you underwent after listening to Dennis Prager.
Croshaw: Thanks Jamie.
I was driving to a Michael Dukakis rally in California and I was looking for Dodger Talk on my car radio and I heard this man talking about God in a serious way. And I thought, "How could a major radio station have a guy on the air talking about....God!" Well, it was Dennis Prager, and he was so good at it that it sparked a memory of a miracle home run I had when I was a kid during my last Little League game of the session, at my last at bat, with the count full. So off and on I would listen to Dennis and usually disagreeing with most of what he said. But little by little, his logic, and his amazing ability to make the listener confront what he really believes, had me changing my worldview.
FP: So what inspired you to make this film? It is your first one, right? Tell us also how you did it.
Croshaw: Yes, it's my first film. After becoming a Christian I re-evaluated my life and asked; What was I made to do? I used to make films as a kid/teenager and I shot one bad rock video in 16mm b&w in my early 20s. But I went into business, and after 20-years I hated business - so I thought maybe I could tell my story through film.
I got tired of cornering an uncle in the kitchen during Thanksgiving trying to get him to understand why my worldview changed. The story was too big. Too much to unpack. So first I made a 14-minute test short to see if I had the talent to tell a story. I then got Dennis & Allen to see it and got their blessing - then I made the film.
FP: What does "Baseball" & the "French" have to do with the story?
Croshaw: "Baseball" is part of the film because of the home run. But there's more to it. I actually prayed to hit that home run, and that morning before the game I told my family at breakfast and my teammates in the dugout that I would be hitting a home run that day. There's even more to the story than that - which is in the movie.
The "French" is part of the film because I was a weird kid who loved French films. So I pepper the film with clips from classic French films to represent the Lefts point of view. It also serves as comic relief.
FP: Share the reaction of your liberal and conservative friends to your conversion and also to this film.
Croshaw: My liberal friends are baffled by it all. But they generally are polite about it. I think it's like if I lived next door to Bill Ayers. You'll keep a close eye on him but as long as he keeps his front yard maintained you won't hassle him. That’s generally been three reactions from my fellow comrades: The first group is boiling mad but quiet - with eyes darting back & forth. They know Dennis is wrong but not sure yet how to respond. The second group is polite, and will agree with some of your points but generally disagree with most. But with this group I think I've planted the seed. And the third group seems to come out of a fog and say, "I never heard these ideas before."
My conservative friends generally would say, "It's about time." Or, "you have finally grown up." But interestingly, the biggest impact the film is having is on non-religious conservative men. Their general remark is, "Maybe I should rethink this God thing." Men listen to Dennis Prager.
FP: What does the film look like….in terms of style, genre etc?
Croshaw: It's a cross between a Michael Moore film and the doc The Fog Of War, by Errol Morris. We start with my wacky progressive upbringing, and then we bring Dennis on to the screen in a stylize interview which we shot in 35mm. And while Dennis gives the logical reasons for a God, and consequences to America if we become a secularize nation, my story is told in the background - through home movies, archival film footage and photos - and French films.
FP: Is the film more about trying to change opinions about conservatives or getting people to go to church?
Croshaw: Probably to change opinions about conservatives. I just want to let my friends and family know that we have credible ideas. Because I know for a fact 99% of them have never heard these ideas before. My sister who received a political science degree from USC, which is not Berkley, has never heard of Burke, Chambers, Kirk... She now feels she's been robbed. The God part is in the film because I could not separate the two - it's part of my story. And the evidence for God had to be credible so the reasons for being a American conservative could be credible.
FP: How do people get the DVD?
Croshaw: Go to www.BaseballDennisandtheFrench.com. After Christmas it will be available on Amazon and everywhere else.
FP: Paul Crowshaw, thank you so much for joining Frontpage Interview. We wish you the best.
To watch Paul Croshaw discuss his new film on Frontpage's Television Show, The Glazov Gang, watch the two part series below:
The Power of Prager, Part I:
The Power of Prager, Part II:
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