I’m Not Ashamed
I’m Not Ashamed is likely not a movie you have heard about. If it wasn’t for this review, you would have never seen it or heard about it and your life would never be changed.
But I am here to change lives.
To be fair, I have only heard about this movie thanks to seeing a trailer for it in theaters. That’s right. Remember God’s Not Dead 2? A real movie in real theaters. It had real trailers, a lot of them religious ones, and this movie that came out in October.
From the trailer alone, I knew I would hate it, but knew I had to see it. I just had to wait until it was on VOD in January 2017, because I was not going to sit through another preachy religious film in the theaters in the same year.
Wanna know why I know she is religious?
17 years ago, we had Columbine, at the time the worst school shooting ever. Two guys went to their school, had bombs, shot up people in a library and then killed themselves. Since then, very little has changed when it comes to guns or mental health reform in America. School shootings still happen, people still get bullied, and parents still exploit their children for monetary gain.
This story is about Rachel Joy Scott (Masey McLain), who was actually the first one killed in the Columbine shootings. She was also a Christian, and according to people, she must have been killed for that reason. No no no. This is not Cassie Bernall, the one who died and the parents wrote She Said Yes and exploited her with many more books after it. This is a different person who died because of Christianity in the same shooting.
Sorry, getting off of movie topic here. This is basically about the last year an a half of her life. She grew up religious, but lost it, then gained it again, went hardcore with it, a boyfriend cheated on her, she lost her friends, started to turn things around, then got killed. Ah yes, what a happy last year and a half.
Starring Ben Davies as the homeless kind of guy who became her protective big brother, Cameron McKendry as the guy who broke her heart, Victoria Staley, Taylor Kalupa, and Emma Elle Roberts as her friends, Terri Minton as the mom, Mark Daugherty and Sadie Robertson as who knows what, and of course David Errigo Jr. and Cory Chapman as our shooters.
Which we get to see over and over again in their secret lair planning to kill the believers.
This film insults me on a personal level. This film should be insulting to everyone really, and you don’t even have to see it.
First of all, the entire thing is based on a lie. The girl as not killed for her faith. She wasn’t asked about Jesus before she was shot. She was just in the lawn when they started and they didn’t stop to chat along the way. But grief takes many forms, and the parents used their child’s death to try and inspire others. I cannot imagine losing a child so I don’t want to harp too much on it, but what in the fuck is wrong with them?
Most of the film is Rachel going in and out of Christianity. When she goes in, she goes in hardcore, but when she doesn’t she quits just as hard it seems. It makes her lose friends, a guy who wanted her for sex, and the other just…strange things. Overall, the story itself is a poor one literally. If they are going to make up some parts, they should have really spruced up this last year.
The goal is to portray Rachel as some sort of Martyr for Christianity, but it is a strange story because on its own it would convince anyone that they should become Christian. Because it makes being a Christian look like a terrible burden and everyone will hate you for it.
But really, the biggest issue about all of this? The extra scenes they add in of the shooters at their home or in the lunchroom. They make it seem like the reason Columbine happened was because one of the two kids was picked on by bullies on the first day, and then he immediately wanted to shoot up the school and spent all year planning for it. Not a slow build up, just immediate anger and thoughts of shooting everyone.
And in these scenes at home they go from true story to just “fuck you, this is our story” and putting words in their mouths. It is just disgusting in my mind. I am not anyway saying they are great people, but they definitely don’t deserve to be turned into some Christian film bad guy B movie villain. It is disrespectful to the reality, it is disrespectful to Rachel’s actual existence, and it is disrespectful to the school and students who were immediately affected by the tragedy.
Recent tragedies don’t need films made about them, but they certainly don’t need terrible films made either.