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There aren’t many movies where you know the ending before you even watch it. But the events leading up to the climax of “I’m Not Ashamed” will keep you on the edge of your seat!
Based on the inspiring true story in the midst of the tragic Columbine Shooting, follow teenager Rachel Joy Scott’s life, including her faith, her art, and her untimely death. Find a story of hope in this tragedy.
Rachel believes that “if one person can go out of their way to show compassion, then it will start a chain reaction”. You see several chain reactions like this play out over the course of the film. Rachel’s walk with Christ begins after visiting her cousin, who spent the summer demonstrating compassion.
Rachel continues this chain reaction with others she meets. One night after youth group, she encounters Nate, a homeless young man that becomes her “big brother”. Another sweet moment was when she arranged a date with a developmentally disabled boy who was often teased at school.
As a teen, Rachel made plenty of mistakes when it came to the world of dating. While these are clearly not examples to follow, it does help singles form their own guidelines of what to do and not do.
And of course, “I’m Not Ashamed” shows that we can all find light in some of the darkest moments of life. This includes both everyday mundane moments and headlining tragedies.
The accuracy of this movie wouldn’t be possible if not for Rachel Joy Scott’s real-life journals. Quotes and doodles from these diaries were used to create the script and art. More importantly, the light of Christ shines through her writing. You can tell that journaling was a great way for Rachel to connect with God.
What about you? Do you keep a journal? If writing isn’t your forte, you could make your journal more visual with drawings or small mementos like ticket stubs and notes from friends. Use your journal as a space that’s just between you and God. This is where you can ask bold questions, state your personal beliefs, and come up with ideas to change the world. Who knows? Maybe in the future, your journals will become valuable historic documents!
Another way Rachel used journaling was to communicate with her “big brother”, whom she led to Christ. For awhile she didn’t get to see him in person very often, so she ministered to him through letters in a notebook. He wrote back with his own questions and ponderings. This turned out to be beneficial to both of them. Is there a friend or family member that you could send a letter to today?
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Points of Concern
“I’m Not Ashamed” certainly earned its PG-13 rating. After all, it would be nearly impossible to tell the story of one of the biggest school tragedies without a dose of violence. Other than Rachel and a friend with gunshot wounds, most of the massacre takes place off-screen.
There are other elements more commonly found in high school. Teens are seen smoking and drinking. A group sneaks out of their homes and breaks into a pool in the middle of the night. One of Rachel’s friends appears to come from an abusive home. Other friends are promiscuous and criticize Rachel’s Christianity. Rachel herself even struggles with a bout of suicidal thoughts. Despite all this, I do appreciate that the struggles that hit closest to home do come to reasonable resolutions. Most of these are addressed by bringing God into the situation and transferring trust to him.
This is a must-see movie for every teen and young adult. It’s relatable and relevant. Since I’m Not Ashamed is based on a real-life tragedy, it’s not a fluffy fairy tale that magically solves every problem. Instead, it tackles tough subjects head-on. Even though the movie takes place in the late 90s, it has a powerful message we can still learn from today.
If you would like to learn more about the behind-the-scenes aspect of the I’m Not Ashamed movie, check out the features in Girlz 4 Christ’s Fall 2016 issue. You’ll find our chat with Rachel Joy Scott’s actress Masey McLain, articles from the fashion department on how they pulled off the 90s look seen onscreen, and an interview with Beth Nimmo, the real-life mother of Rachel Joy Scott. Click here to read Girlz 4 Christ for free!
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