On Tuesday night, some of the Walk for Life West Coast team were privileged to attend an advance screening of the movie Gimme Shelter in San Francisco.  The movie is based on true events. Briefly, Gimme Shelter follows a 16 year old pregnant homeless teenager (played by Vanessa Hudgens) who escapes from her abusive mother (Rosario Dawson) and is pressured to have an abortion by her Wall Street broker father (Brendan Fraser).  When she escapes from the abortion center within minutes of the procedure, she is befriended by a compassionate priest (James Earl Jones) who leads her to the support she needs at a suburban shelter for homeless teenagers. The movie features some of the actual young mothers who had lived in the shelter.   Check out the trailer below:

 

 

The film’s writer and director Ron Krauss, and Kathy DiFiore, the woman who created the shelters featured in the movie, were both in attendance. Following the screening, they took questions from the audience. Mr. Krauss revealed that he had spent a year living in the shelter in order to get the necessary background for his script.  He described meeting the young woman on whom the story is based, and how the meeting transformed his life (pictures of the shelter and girls are shown during the movie’s closing credits).  He described how the female lead, Vanessa Hudgens, immersed herself in the role by living at the shelter for three weeks and by deliberately gaining 15 pounds.

Kathy-MotherTeresaWomen’s advocate Kathy DiFiore (shown at left with Mother Theresa) also took questions. She related how she became homeless after an abusive marriage, and how she picked herself up and went on to have a successful career on Wall Street.  Despite her success, she said she felt an internal emptiness. Somehow she felt a divine calling to open her home to teenage girls who were pregnant and homeless. That was over 30 years ago. Today Ms. DiFiore runs four such homes for pregnant girls, and encourages others to start shelters around the country – she even has a shelter “kit” on her website for those interested in opening their homes to young women in crisis situations.  The website is www.severalsources.net.

Gimme Shelter is the latest in a growing list of fine pro-life movies, which include October Baby and Juno. It will open in theaters across the country on January 24, 2014.

You can learn more at http://gimmeshelterthemovie.com/