I was recently asked to give my critique of an unconventional pro-life film called “Gates of Hell”, which was released by Illuminati Pictures.
This is definitely not a typical “pro-life” effort. As a creative professional myself, I veer away from the norm all the time, opting instead for the unconventional in order for others to experience the transformational. “Gates of Hell” was created by the incredibly talented Molotov Mitchell and is described as a documentary-style film, which combines historical facts with a “plausible future.” The story centers around oxymoronic pro-life terrorists, called the Zulu 9, who take it upon themselves to assassinate abortionists in a graphic and blood-soaked rampage.
I actually had to hit pause several times throughout this obvious shockumentary, because I was repulsed by what I was seeing and so angry that this creation could even be considered “pro-life”. One of my colleagues, and pivotal figures in the fight against the epidemic of abortion in New York City, Dr. Gerard Nadal, was excoriated by Molotov for daring to react to the trailer. Nadal was attacked for somehow misinterpreting the contents of a trailer that accurately reflect the entire movie.
How would I describe the film in a single word? Detrimental.
The glorification of violence, as a means toward an end, makes the film’s primary message appalling. Molotov, starring in his own film as himself, was the only person in this story who was not a fictional character. He cannot claim a fictional nature for the film, but instead one of seeming advocacy with a deeply disturbing and highly suggestive solution to a cause.
Watching the entire movie not only reinforced my own negative reaction to the trailer but also strengthened the argument that the film does not consider the overall racism that it, too, conveys.
As a black individual, seeing an armed, obscenity-laced, God-invoking, band of thugs mercilessly killing other human beings was repugnant. In one scene, the artillery-clad Zulu 9 indiscriminately slaughter anyone they see inside an abortion clinic, never distinguishing between patient and worker. In Columbine-like madness, they mow down everyone in their path.
The film’s injected racism continues with the depiction of only white abortionists (and one added Asian for diversity) further infecting the narrative. It ignores the dynamics of elitism (where prominent black individuals enabled Sanger’s vision of the “elimination of human waste” through racially-targeted birth control policies). Like a Michael Moore crockumentary, the viewer is lured into the entanglement of truth and fiction only to get bound up in emotion. The film’s “plausible future” seems to be more of a work of friction—the inevitable inflaming of racial attitudes and perceptions.
Planned Parenthood’s irrefutable history of eugenic racism and violence toward humanity is immersed in blood. Why would any “pro-life” effort try to wrestle any of that away from it?
The fact that the film’s vigilantes, or terrorists, are acquitted of their violent escapades shows no denunciation, but rather, validation of violence as a means to this movie’s disturbing end. This is reinforced as the viewer is taken through a guided tour of a museum created to honor the Zulu 9. The guide excitedly emphasizes the firearms and tactics used, unapologetically celebrating the barbaric slaughter of human life.
I could never personally, nor could The Radiance Foundation, support a film like this. We denounce the radical pro-abortion embrace of violence every day. We always advocate free speech, but with that freedom comes a tremendous responsibility to understand the consequences of that expression. People don’t look for historical veracity to validate a film, but will be emotionally driven to accept its worldview. I fear this movie only serves to reinforce pro-abortion zealots’ absurd deflection of violence onto the Pro-Life movement.
They have 54 million slaughtered lives to justify. We don’t need to inject fictionalized violence into an epic battle where our strength is found in law and order and the most disarming weapon of all—compassion.