abortion, catechesis, Catholic, cinema, Comedy, Conversion, death, death penalty, dignity of life, Drama, ethnic cleansing, Euthanasia, faith, film, Human Dignity, insurance, Love, ministry, movie, movie ministry, pro-life, prolife, Sacrifice
As October barrels down on us, I am reminded that October is Pro-Life month. My mind has bounced all over trying to decide which pro-life movies to review, especially showing the “womb to tomb” aspect… So, this post may be as much a chance to help me gather these thoughts, but also serve as an overview of several movies that I hope to be able to show in more detail later (and some that have already been done). They may not all actually portray Pro-Life attitudes, but can still be used for discussion. Remember in past posts where I’ve said that sometimes the lesson is doing the opposite of what is portrayed in the film. This list is in no way comprehensive, but it’s a start.
- Dead Man Walking (R): I’ll admit, I haven’t seen this one… but It’s on my list to watch. A man has committed unspeakable crimes, but as he sits on death row Sister Prejean works to have his execution stayed and befriends him.
- The Life of David Gayle (R): a consensual sexual encounter followed by suicide is staged as a rape and murder to prove that even with video and DNA evidence, an innocent person can be sentenced to the death penalty.
- Million Dollar Baby (PG-13): **CAUTION** This one comes down on euthanasia as mercy killing. When a young boxer who has fought her way into the ring, is injured so badly she is faced with life being bedridden and unable to even care for herself, she asks her manager to end her life. The film wants the viewer to see euthanasia as good, but a case can definitely be made that considering her fighter spirit that had overcome so much, she gave up way too easily. So, there’s a lot to discuss here.
Insurance reform / quality care for those in need:
- John Q (PG-13): Desperate for a heart transplant for his son and being blocked by red tape at every turn, a man takes the ER hostage until they agree to perform the surgery. Then, when an organ isn’t available, he sets things in motion to serve as his son’s donor, though it will mean losing his life. Again, this is a launchpad for discussion… not something you’ll want to show without talking about it at length.
Dignity of Human Life:
- Horton Hears a Who (G): The line repeated over and over in this movie is “A person’s a person, no matter how small.” Horton the elephant hears talking coming from a flower and is driven to protect it, even though every other animal in the jungle thinks that he has lost his mind.
- The Incredibles (PG): “Valuing life is not weakness…and disregarding it is not strength.” This line from Mr. Incredible, who is accused of weakness because he won’t kill the bad guy’s assistant to get his way shows a profound respect for human life (as the good guys usually do).
- Ice Age (PG): Instead of abandoning an orphaned human child, A mammoth, a sloth and a tiger set out on a journey to take the child to someone who can care for him.
- The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (PG-13): The story of an unlikely friendship between two boys, one German, one Jew. Set during the Holocaust, the German boy is being taught all about the inferiority of the Jewish race, but he comes to see that none of it is true.
- Bella: A woman set on abortion spends time with a former soccer player who is trying to make amends for a past incident. He convinces her to choose life by agreeing to raise her child for her while giving her the opportunity to change her mind along the way.
- Juno: Juno heads into an abortion clinic, but the small bit of trivia about the baby having finger nails sends her running out. So she finds adoptive parents in the Penny Saver and continues her high school schooling as a pregnant teen despite ridicule and frustration at her condition. Juno is crass and full of herself, but is still genuinely concerned for the future of the baby.
- October Baby: An abortion survivor sets out on a journey to find her birth mother. Along the way she finds out more about her birth, too. She offers her mother the forgiveness she never allowed herself. See the review I did on this one earlier here.
- Cider House Rules: **CAUTION** This one is really pro-abortion. However, I think that the conversations and situations in the movie can be a good launchpad for discussion, especially in those extreme cases that are thrown out to support abortion agendas. A boy raised in an orphanage is the assistant to a doctor who performs abortions for women who feel they have no choice. The boy argues with the doctor about his actions, and maintains a pro-life stance until he encounters a girl who is pregnant by incest.
- The Way: It’s a small part of the story, but one of the pilgrims encountered on The Way of St. James admits to having an abortion to prevent her abusive husband from having another woman to beat on. She goes on to talk about imagining what the child would be doing and the life she never had. See the review I did on this one earlier here.
- How to Deal: A teenager discovers she’s pregnant after her boyfriend dies in a freak incident. She chooses life, and endures the humiliation of being a pregnant teen with the support of the main character who makes it clear that she would not have made the same decision. Again, this is a good one for the discussion, but cannot stand on it’s own as pro-life because so many push for abortion.
I know there is NO way this is all of the movies regarding life issues out there. I mean think about all those military or action flicks where the heroes are trying to save humanity, even if it means a few human lives are lost… or all those that struggle with a difficult diagnosis, and overcome it all to do more with their lives than they ever thought possible. All are a part of the battle for life, and all boil down to love of neighbor. If we all did a better job of that, would the rest even be an issue??
In my search for more ideas about films regarding life issues, I came across two sites listed below with lots of recommendations you might find helpful, especially if you check out the comments.
Hopefully I’ll be able to elaborate more on these as time goes on, but hopefully this will help for now. Blessings!