A Positive Look at “October Baby” from an Unexpected Source

By Dave Andrusko

Today we’ll talk about two highly unlikely stories—or, more accurately,  life-affirming stories that appeared in two places you’d probably never expect.

I’ve had the pleasure of writing several times about the new pro-life movie, “October Baby,” which opened last week. It’s unfair to offer a thumb-nail summary, but in a word the film is powerful story of a “failed” abortion which in the end is an immensely moving narrative of redemption and reconciliation and the imperative to forgive.

Outside of Christian or conservative circles, however,  the response largely has run the gamut from indifference to hostility. But there have been exceptions, including one very clever imaginary dialogue between a pro-lifer and a “pro-choicer” over the film’s merits that ran in the Washington Post.

And then there is a piece that ran this morning on NPR’s “Morning Edition,”  not an outlet where ‘conservative’ is the first word that comes into your mind.

“’October Baby’ Tells a Story that Hollywood Wouldn’t” places the film in the context of Hollywood’s on-again, off-again relationship with films that directly appeal to people of faith.(www.npr.org/2012/03/27/149408178/october-baby-tells-a-story-hollywood-wouldnt.) Jon Erwin co-directed “October Baby” with his brother Andrew and told Morning Edition’s David Greene why he thinks Christian films are resonating.

I hope you will listen to the broadcast in which Erwin eloquently makes the case that Hollywood was not open to a film like “October Baby” (and why) and Paul Bond (who “covers the intersection of religion and film for The Hollywood Reporter”), offers an insider’s perspective that “”More and more, Hollywood is not shutting the door down on these Christian films, because they see that the profit margin is there.” Brand says that “Both Fox and Sony have already set up separate divisions to produce Christian films” because “Hollywood doesn’t like to leave money on the table.”

“October Baby” is suffused with a Christian message, to be sure. But as those who are not believers constantly affirm, you don’t have to have a faith base to “do the right thing”—to act morally and responsibly—or to appreciate well-directed and acted films. 

Were the secular counterparts of the Erwin brothers to see the film, they might learn two things. First, there really is an enormous market that exists for films like “October Baby” outside the Christian and/or pro-life “niche” market. Second, quality is quality.

When the young woman, Hannah, who survived the abortion meets her birth mother; or when she listens to the nurse who gave up her profession after the late-term abortion that Hannah survived; or when Hannah shares her inner turmoil with a priest, this is acting that will blow away most anyone. Themes that transcend any and all categories will always find a receptive—and large—audience.

It’s good that NPR would do a sympathetic story about “October Baby.” If you haven’t seen it, go to http://octoberbabymovie.net  and find the closest location to your home where the movie is showing.

The film did well for a “small film” the first week. But as we look to the future, it is even more important that “October Baby” do well in the weeks to come. (For a fuller review of the movie, see www.nationalrighttolifenews.org/news/2012/01/october-baby-a-pro-life-film-you-must-see.)

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