Christian themes in Hollywood films are, unfortunately, rare things. But every once in a while, a courageous filmmaker produces a movie that’s unlike the others in one significant way: It confronts truth. October Baby is one such film. When I saw it this weekend, I was reminded of this Samuel Adams quote: “It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds.”
October Baby details the dark side of abortion, the side Americans rarely see. It dares to address the reality of what goes on in clinics across this country and what an emotional toll abortion takes on women who’ve had one. The directors, Jon and Andrew Erwin, make it clear that the film is designed to be “healing.”
That’s not, of course, how the mainstream media — 99 percent of whom pray at the altar of feminism — see it. According to New York Times film critic Jeannette Catsoulis, October Baby represents “ugliness at its core.” Why? Because the film “communicates in the language of guilt and fear.”
This comment is a perfect illustration of why this country is so divided on social issues. Social issues require moral judgment and ask people to look at truths they’d rather not. And for the faith-based population, facing such truths represents strength and redemption.
Take the scene in which Hannah, the main character, enters a Catholic Church (despite being Baptist) to seek answers about her past. A priest sees her and sits down next to her. For a refreshing change, the priest is not portrayed — as he would be by most Hollywood producers — as a closet homosexual or pedophile. Rather, he’s a wonderful man who responds to Hannah’s woes beautifully — like most of the priests I’ve known. First, he listens. Then, while preaching forgiveness, he sets Hannah off on a path that allows her to release her demons and move on with her life. That’s called healing.
Except for the non-faith-based population. To these folks, facing truth means feeling guilty. So the only alternative is to lash out. That’s why Ms. Catsoulis refers to Hannah as “dewy” and immature. After all, she doesn’t act like the other female characters Catsoulis is used to seeing at the movies. Hannah doesn’t drink, smoke, or do drugs. Even worse, she doesn’t sleep with the guy she has known since childhood when the two end up in a hotel room together (it was the only room left they could afford) on a road trip.
That’s just not realistic, writes film critic Joe Williams of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. After all, most women in Hannah’s position would be drunk and enjoying their “friends with benefits.” For this so-called oversight Williams refers to October Baby as “overly wholesome” and “undeveloped.” He says the movie would have been “better off as a bumper sticker.”
Actually, Mr. Williams, October Baby couldn’t be more realistic. There are far more “wholesome” young women in the world than you and the media elite realize. And while most abortions don’t happen the way the one in this film did, the emotions and turmoil surrounding abortion are very real. So much so that at the end of the movie, the directors interview Shari Rigby (who plays the birth mother who had the abortion) about her own abortion, the one she had 20 years ago. When she was playing her character, in turns out, she wasn’t acting at all. Can’t get more realistic than that.
Which should tell you this: Any movie that’s considered off-limits to the media elite should make you want to see it all the more. We have two options when it comes to assessing matters of a moral nature: We can be told how to think or we can think for ourselves.
What will you do?