–By Sam Hendrian–
The value of each human life is a subject often painted in gray colors by modern society. When exactly does life begin, and is it truly valuable at all its stages? The answer to this question has been hotly debated over the past century. The Catholic Church has always affirmed that life begins at conception and is immeasurably valuable at all its stages. This uplifting truth is conveyed through several mainstream, critically-acclaimed movies in subtle yet tremendously powerful ways. Here are five films that particularly stand out for their quietly effective pro-life themes.
1. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
It is certainly easy for any of us to think, If I had never been born, what would it matter? Nobody would know the difference. Frank Capra’s cinematic masterpiece It’s a Wonderful Life proves the faultiness of such thinking when its protagonist, George Bailey, makes a wish that he had never been born and then witnesses the hole that his absence would leave in countless lives. As the old saying goes, “To the world, you may be just one person, but to one person (or several people), you may be the world.”
2. The Terminator (1984)
In this sometimes cheesy/over-violent yet skillfully crafted sci-fi thriller, an innocent woman is targeted by a time-traveling killer cyborg because her future baby is going to become a pivotal player in the war against evil robots. While all life is worth protecting even if it is not destined for so-called “great things,” The Terminator can still be seen as a small but significant advocate for the rights of the unborn.
3. Room (2015)
Unsettling at times but ultimately uplifting, this Academy Award-winning film is primarily about the unbreakable bond between a captive woman and the son she conceived through rape. Upon escaping the room where they have been held captive for several years, the woman’s father cannot bring himself to view her son as anything other than a reminder of the rapist, but she remains steadfast in her immeasurable love for him as a precious human being and as the only joy she received from all her years spent as a sex slave. A timely reminder that each human life has infinite value no matter how it was conceived.
4. A Quiet Place (2018)
What kind of fools would choose to have a baby in a post-apocalyptic world where even the slightest sound can attract carnivorous monsters? Wise fools who understand that the joy and beauty of new human life always transcends the fear of death. Evelyn and Lee Abbott refuse to let dangerous circumstances hinder them from expanding their family and living lives of sacrificial love, making A Quiet Place one of the most profoundly pro-life movies of all time. For a more in-depth analysis of the film’s pro-life themes, click here.
5. Creed II (2018)
Early on in this unexpectedly moving Rocky sequel, the protagonist, Adonis Creed, discovers that his fiancée Bianca is pregnant. “I don’t know if we’re ready,” she worriedly tells him. He calmly replies, “Then let’s get ready.” In a society where unborn children are often categorized as inconveniences rather than blessings, Adonis’s wise words are inspiring and richly life-affirming. A later scene of him panicking because he cannot get their baby to stop crying is both hilarious and deeply touching.
Well, that’s all, folks. What are some other movies you can think of with subtle yet powerful pro-life themes?
About the Author
Sam Hendrian is a student at John Paul the Great Catholic University (Class of 2019) pursuing an emphasis in Directing.
For more articles by Sam, click here.