The inspiration behind the soon-to-be-released “Gimme Shelter” movie visited Denver last month to introduce the true story of one homeless teenager’s fight for her unborn child’s life.
Kathy DiFiore, the Catholic founder of Several Sources Shelter for pregnant teens in New Jersey, attended a screening Dec. 8 at the Landmark Theatre in Greenwood Village to discuss the real life events behind the pro-life film.
“I hope you enjoy the film,” DiFiore told the screening audience. “It’s about my lifelong work and work with mothers and their babies.”
The film opens across the country Jan. 24.
Based on true events, “Gimme Shelter” depicts the heroic story of Agnes “Apple” Bailey, played by actress Vanessa Hudgens, and her path to motherhood as a pregnant, homeless teenager.
The story begins with Apple’s flight from her abusive, drug-addicted mother, played by Rosario Dawson, and search for her Wall Street father, played by Brendan Fraser.
Her father gives her a place to stay but once it’s discovered she’s pregnant, Apple is taken to an abortion clinic. Apple decides to flee after looking at a sonogram of her baby girl.
Film director Ronald Krauss, who also attended the Centennial screening, takes viewers through a gripping account of the desperation and isolation facing many young women lacking support for their decision to choose life.
“There’s a lot of ‘Apples’ out there—tragic Apples that need help,” DiFiore said after the film. “I’ll get another call tonight and there’ll be another Apple. We need to put so much love into them and (then) you can see the transition.”
The film shows Apple’s struggle for survival by dumpster diving, sleeping in parked cars and escaping threats from the streets, which ends in a car wreck.
In the depths of despair, Apple meets a compassionate priest in a hospital who opens her life to God and leads her to a maternity home for unwed mothers. With renewed confidence, Apple fights all odds and starts a new life for her and her baby.
Vatican official Bishop Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, endorsed the film and its pro-life message.
“‘Apple’ fights against all odds and finds hope in the kindness of some key people … and the deep love of God for every single man, woman and child from the moment of conception,” he said in a statement. “Out of rejection shines the courageous beauty of a mother’s love, and out of tragedy, shines hope.”
The approximately 75,000 pregnant teenagers in the United States are in desperate need for a loving environment in a shelter or home for unwed mothers, DiFiore said.
She told viewers that the film is an effort to start a grassroots movement to aid pregnant teenagers.
The movie was partially filmed in DiFiore’s maternity home for unwed mothers, where many of the moms make an appearance. Actresses also worked with the homeless mothers to depict their personal stories in the film, she said.
DiFiore’s work since 1981 to help pregnant teenagers has been lauded, especially by Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who worked with her to change shelter laws in New Jersey that threatened to close the maternity home.
Another film screening was held Jan. 7 at the AMC Highlands Ranch 24. The film is rated PG-13 for mature subjects involving abuse, violence and language. Visit www.screenitcatholic.com for details.