22 October 2016 | paul-allaer
Homage to one of the Columbine victims
"I'm Not Ashamed" (2016 release; 112 min.) brings the story of 17 yr. old student Rachel Scott, who was the very first victim at the Columbine High School tragedy in 1999. As the movie opens, we get TV footage from those horrifying moments right after the shootings. We then go back in time, when Rachel was 8 years old, and her parents are splitting up, leaving her mom in a financial struggle to raise 5 kids. We then go to "April 1998 - Sophomore Year", with Rachel doing well in school. Rachel is particularly interested in the drama class. At this point we're not even 15 min. into the movie but to tell you more would spoil your viewing experience.
Couple of comments: this movie is marketed as a "christian" film, and plays out like one. If that is going to bother you, please do yourself a favor and catch a different movie for your enjoyment. I really didn't know what to expect and was pleasantly surprised at the maturity, even sophistication, of this movie (the script is based on Rachel's journals, we are reminded at the beginning of the movie). That said, it is also a bit of a missed opportunity, as it focuses mainly on Rachel, and not hardly any time on the 2 shooters. If you have the expectation that this movie might delve into the "why did they do it", this movie will not provide the answer (other than some very general and broad brushes). All that said, the last 15 min. of the movie packs an emotional wallop, for obvious reasons. The movie makers hit the bull's eye when they cast Masey McLain as Rachel, she is absolutely fantastic. Bottom line: this is a fine movie (made on a dime, total budget a mere $1.5 million). But if you want to understand Columbine, this is not the movie for it. (Earlier this year, Sue Klebold, the mother of Dylan, one of the 2 Columbine shooters, issued a devastating memoir called "A Mother's Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy", which I would readily recommend to anyone, Christian or not.)
The movie opened on a couple of screens this weekend here in Cincinnati. The Saturday matinée screening where I saw this at was attended very nicely, somewhat to my surprise. It sounds like there is a market for well-made Christian films. If, on the other hand, you want to get a look at the promising life of one of the Columbine victims (who this year otherwise would be 34 years old), then I would readily recommend you check this out, be it in the theater, on VOD, or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray.