Story of Kidnapped Missionary Becomes New Film

RICHMOND (WRIC) – An American
kidnapped and held hostage in Russia speaks exclusively with 8News as a movie
about his ordeal opens in Richmond.

The kidnapping made
headlines around the world back in 1998. President Clinton even got involved
and miraculously the young American missionary and his colleague survived.

A true story of two young Americans
kidnapped and held hostage in Russia for five days.

One of the men behind the
real life drama, Travis Tuttle, was 20 at the time, serving a mission for the Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“We were expecting to die,”
he says. “We knocked on the door and he immediately opened it, which was one of
the many red flags.. how quickly he opened the door.”

The hostage takers had met
Tuttle and his companion on the street and invited them over. When they walked
inside the apartment, they were attacked.

“They jumped us from
behind and they started beating us with baseball bats and they took us into the
other room immediately threw us down on the ground and handcuffs us and hogtied

“They made a ransom note.
They took our pictures. They photocopied our passports. They put it all into a
bag and they went and put it on one of the more prominent people in the city
and put it on his doorstep.”

The kidnappers demanded $300,000
from Tuttle's church as his family in America waited to hear if he was dead or

Filmmaker Garrett Batty followed
Tuttle's story and now, 16 years later, is bringing it to movie theaters in a
film called “The Saratov Approach.”

“Our goal wasn't to be
preachy,” he says. “We wanted to play in movie theaters and not churches.”

The action packed movie is
getting positive reviews and both Batty and Tuttle say regardless of whether
you're Christian or not, the compelling story will have you on the end of your

The movie premieres Friday
at the Virginia Center Commons Regal Cinemas in Glen Allen.

Tuttle will be there Saturday
night at 7 p.m. For a question and answer session.

Although freed, both Tuttle
and his companion to this day have permanent nerve damage in their hands from
being held in handcuffs for so long.


Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of

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