Gimme Shelter is a moving story of hope in the midst of pain and abuse. It is based on the true story of a girl who comes from a very difficult family situation and finds herself pregnant just at the moment when she is most vulnerable. The movie pulls no punches about how people can be mean and insensitive, even abusive, but it also shows that there are good people out there, and that some people can change. It celebrates the small heroes who try to do their little part to help this girl. Among them are a Catholic priest and a woman who runs a home for unwed mothers. The movie is not a feel-good movie. It leaves you thoughtful and hurting, but it does show a way out of the cycle of pain. Excellent acting by Venessa Hudgens, James Earl Jones and Rosario Dawson.
Here’s a few questions for discussion after the movie:
- What do you think of the “home” situation of Apple, the heroine of the movie? Do you think this is a realistic situation? Do you think that many children grow up in situations like this today?
- What do you think of Apple’s dad? Is he a noble person or a person who is just self-centered? Do you see any change in him as the movie progresses?
- What chances do you give Apple for having a “succesful” life after the movie ends? Do you think she made the right choices? What qualities do you admire in her? What qualities did she improve on as her story developed?
- What do you think of the place where Apple ends up staying? Do you think it is a positive place? How would you improve it?
- Is there any general “lesson for life” that you draw from this movie? How would you express it?