'Gimme Shelter' Better Than Overtly Pro-Life Movies


There’s been a debate within the conservative movement about making good movies.  Of course, the definition of “good” is subjective.  Some think good means a movie with a powerful political or cultural message.  Some think good means a movie that people will actually see.

Gimme Shelter stars Vanessa Hudgens (High School Musical), Brendan Frasier (Encino Man) and James Earl Jones (my favorite cell phone commercial, among many other things).  It’s based on a true story about a pregnant teenager (Hudgens) who runs away from an abusive home and lives on the streets until she finds a home for single, homeless women. From ImpactingCulture.com:

When I think of the film students at JPCatholic, I think this is the kind of art they want to create.  A film with power to change lives.  A film that gently guides its audience toward the beauty of life and redemption and relationship.  This is no “Fireproof” or “October Baby” here – I really don’t know what the religious views of the producers are.

It’s not a nice message that’s been awkwardly packaged into a story; it’s a great story, that happens to have a powerful message.  While it contains quite a large dose of Catholic characters, context, and even dialogue, the film still somehow avoids sounding like a 2-hour sermon.  Christianity is present, but it’s not the core of the story.  Even the pro-life undercurrent, which will certainly be applauded by the conservative community (as it should be), is not the focal point of this story.

It’s simply the story of a girl.  It’s about her troubled past, her broken present, and her frail crawl towards a hopeful future.  It’s about finding family among complete strangers.  It’s about the healing and support offered by an organization like this homeless shelter.

Which is another great reason to love this film: I wish everyone would see this movie if only to open their eyes to the immense amount of impact these shelters can have on real peoples’ lives.  

It looks like a movie worth seeing — and emulating.