Rideout: One Last Summit.
My friend and teacher chose to travel back to Thailand after doctors gave him the news. I had to tell his story. Rejected by his own religious establishment countless times, Ken Rideout helped me navigate the deconstruction of my beliefs to find a God who loves Everyone and can be found in Anyone.
About The Project
In 2014, after finding out he had congestive heart failure and being told there was nothing more the doctors could do, Ken Rideout decided to travel back to Thailand, a place he had lived and worked as a missionary.
Ken’s views changed drastically from the time he went to Thailand in 1959. Over the years, as he encountered the teachings of Buddhism and various eastern philosophies, he began to see his own faith tradition in a different light. This led to countless churches removing their support to his young family but he persisted, believing what he was doing was right and good in the eyes of the God he believed in.
After hearing of his terminal illness I partnered with Antony Boshier and others to capture the story of Ken returning to Thailand to live out his days. We were not prepared for the toll such a trip would take on him and once we were there we had to shift our plan and find another way to tell his beautiful story. This is the story of a missionary going home and the profound impact he had on so many people, including our crew.
I was a pastor in a local church in Nashville, TN. Over the years of working in a church I began to have questions of how scripture and tradition related to the vast world outside my own life. In a time of deconstructing my faith I found a man who had lived and worked as a Christian missionary in Thailand for forty-four years. His eastern views of what the teachings of the Bible allowed me to find, over time, a story of a God whose infinite love is for all people in all of time. Suddenly my views on evolution, eternal punishment, sexual identify and varying religions came to show a greater view of a creator of all things. Ken’s basic teaching is the understanding that most people judge things first through a system of laws but that God looks at everyone through nothing other than infinite love.
About This Team
My name is Stuart Stokes. After years of working in a church I became concerned with some of the traditional views of Evangelical Christianity and my own convictions, which differed from many in my faith tradition. After shooting this documentary on Ken Rideout I chose to leave that job and persue my life long passion of story telling through motion picture. This is my first feature and I couldn’t have done it without the help Antony, Steven and countless others.
Antony Boshier is a photographer first and foremost. When we embarked on this journey to Thailand I had no idea the level of skill he posessed. At one point, while in a remote village outside of Chiang Rai, I watched as he captured daily life of the people of this Lahu tribe. In my travels I have seen many people take pictures of indigenous peoples and watched as they exploit the differences in their own lives and those in their photos. Antony instictively captured people’s dignity and honor. His presense was hardly noticed as he moved through the village in silence and his ability to share such intimate moments of our time there has given me memories I’ll never forget.
Steven Goodman came on board this project in post-production. His years of expericence in film as a cinematographer has given him the experience to view our edits and provide critical suggestions to help us tell the story we mean to tell. His sense of timing and expertise has taken our small project and brought it to new levels and we couldn’t be happier for this addition to the team.
Others who worked on Production of this film include Jeff Graham, Jim Griffin and Andrew Crefeld. Their help in the early stages made it possible to get this story told.