I’m a picky movie goer: I don’t want to fork over cash to support movies that worship the gimmie (non)culture. I I found out about Gimme Shelter from Jason Jones with Movie to Movement whose mission is to “promote films that make a difference – films which promote a culture of Life, Love and Beauty.” I also watched the trailer on youtube. I could tell from both that this movie wasn’t going to be about gimmies, but about giving.
Gimme Shelter gave. and gave. and gave. It provided a visceral moviegoing experience infused with meaning. Before I went to see it I read a review that criticized having lead actress Vanessa Hudgens cut her hair. The critc said the movie never assigned a purpose to this. Gazing at the big screen, it was gut wrenching watching how helpless she was in her drug infested environment and getting ready to possibly eek out an existence on the streets. I was amazed that the reviewer couldn’t imagine the liberation in having control over something in her life for a change or the protection in looking less feminine before hitting the uncaring pavement. Watching the scissors open and close and the locks fall into the sink you saw her grasping at power and protection simultaneously. It all seemed so real: not painted and remote like an old Hollywood classic, but gritty and actual like a documentary.
It gave a glimpse into one of the big threats to the culture of life in the West: the cruel and heartless materialist. Joanna Fitzpatrick, the wife of Apple’s father, was the character hardest to empathize with. ***Possible Spoilers*** She scoffed openly at the thought of Apple being pregnant in front of her face and pitted our main character against her father. Joanna left Apple at the doctor’s office, forcing her to walk home from the OB and later faint from the effort. Joanna promised she would hold Apple’s hand during the abortion and left her high and dry and all alone in the clinic. Joanna refused to look past her perfectly manicured life to sympathize or suffer with Apple.
It gave a platform. This movie wasn’t written by a Hollywood household name, but Providence worked around that. Gimme Shelter features Disney starlet Vanessa Hudgens. Throngs of young men and women follow her because of role in High School Musical. Writer and director Ronald Krauss actually wanted to cast an unknown for the role of Apple to make it authentic and believable but Miss Hudgens poured herself into the character during her audtion. When he ran her recording past the young mothers at the shelter, they picked out Miss Hudgens from all the other auditions. Miss Hudgens’ young fans have a chance at hearing the movie’s positive message because of her presence. They can hear her pitch this movie on the early morning, afternoon, and late night shows they watch.
It gave present day inspiration. Kathy Difiore was unknown to me before this film. Finding out that she quietly opened 5 shelters for homeless expectant mothers with little fame or recognition in the past 30 years blew me away.
It gave me the opportunity to learn more about movie trivia. I love watching behind the scenes and hearing the birth stories of movies. I learned about Kathy Difiore and her amazing connection with Blessed Mother Theresa here:
(Remember this when you see the Mother Theresa photo in the film!)
I learned about Darlisha Dozie and how she inspired Writer/Director Ronald Krauss to pursue the motion picture format here:
(Remember this when you see Darlisha’s beautiful face in the film!)
Gimme Shelter gave me an opportunity to go to a regular priced movie theater on opening night to plunk down some cash to see a movie that made me cry tears of both sorrow and joy: and I felt really good inside supporting it. This film is getting unwarranted cruel treatment by mainstream critics, please go out and see it for yourself!
::Brigitte Gawthorp is a Maryland girl who moved to Texas as soon as she could. She is a cradle Catholic who reverted from a cultural faith to an enthusiastic orthodoxy in adolescence. She has four children who are each 3 years apart and they keep her life interesting! When she isn’t Facebooking about auto glass for the family business she Facebooks about everything else.::