There’s a new movie out tomorrow with big-time stars and a big-time pro-life message.
Christians who come to the aid of pregnant teenagers have taken a lot of heat over the years—mainly being accused of caring only about the fetus, while at the same time forcing our religion down the throats of the mothers.
But on Friday, a terrific movie opens across the country that will shed light instead of heat on pro-lifers.
The film is called “Gimme Shelter,” and it opens with a teenage girl named Apple (played by Vanessa Hudgens) running away from her vicious, drug-addict mother. Apple shows up at the home of the father she’s never met: a wealthy Wall Street broker, (played by Brendan Fraser) who lives in a mansion with his wife and two young children. The couple doesn’t know quite what to do with Apple, but one thing they’re certain about: Apple cannot keep her unborn baby. After all, her father gently explains to her, she’s homeless, jobless, and just plain too young to become a mother.
Apple reluctantly agrees. But at the abortion clinic, she pulls out the pictures of her unborn baby—the ones an ultrasound tech gave her when she was taken for a pregnancy test. She remembers the way the baby squirmed, and the sound of its heartbeat. And she simply cannot go through with it.
Apple runs out of the clinic, and begins living on the streets. A bad car accident lands her in the hospital, and this is where she encounters grace in the form of a priest, Father Frank McCarthy, played by James Earl Jones. Father McCarthy tries to help Apple, but she simply cannot bring herself to trust him—or his God.
“I don’t need a priest.” Apple declares. “God don’t care about me. Where was God when I was suffering and being abused all these years?”
“Maybe,” Father McCarthy responds, “You’re exactly where you’re meant to be. God put you here for a reason.”
The priest recommends that Apple stay at a home for pregnant teenagers, run by Kathy DiFiore, a devout Catholic who once worked with Mother Teresa. With no better options, Apple agrees to give it a try, and over the next few months as she is treated with kindness, she begins to learn how to trust.
One of the most poignant moments in the film is when several girls sneak into Kathy DiFiore’s office and read aloud what social workers have written about them. It’s a tragic story of physical abuse, prostitution, drug abuse and rape.
“Gimme Shelter” was written and directed by Ronald Krauss, an award-winning director who wrote his screenplay after spending a year in a shelter for pregnant teens. Several of the actresses who play Apple’s companions are real-life shelter moms.
Krauss’s experience and vision are a big part of what makes “Gimme Shelter” a great film. This is not a film that will only appeal to Christian audiences. It’s a film with big stars, top-notch production values, and a subtle message intended to appeal to a wide audience.
“Gimme Shelter” will provide an opportunity for many film-goers to see, perhaps for the first time, how richly Christians respond to people in need. Christians, in turn, will learn that some people who recommend abortion genuinely believe it’s the best solution for kids like Apple.
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So I hope you’ll go see “Gimme Shelter” this weekend (it’s rated PG-13 for some violent content and language).
Come to BreakPoint.org, click on this commentary, and you’ll find out how to purchase group tickets for your church youth group. Better still, take along some friends who aren’t familiar with those who, like my wife, work with young women in crisis.
LifeNews Note: Eric Metaxas is best known for two biographies: Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy about Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery about William Wilberforce. He also wrote books and videos for VeggieTales.