I'm Not Ashamed
|I'm Not Ashamed|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Brian Baugh|
|Based on||The Journals of Rachel Joy Scott|
|Music by||Timothy Williams|
|Edited by||Chris Witt|
|Distributed by||Pure Flix Entertainment|
|Box office||$2.1 million|
I'm Not Ashamed is a 2016 biographical drama film based on the journals of Rachel Scott, the first victim of the 1999 Columbine High School massacre in Columbine, Colorado. Scott is the protagonist, and the story of both gunmen who committed the shooting, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, is intertwined with Scott's.
In Littleton, Colorado, a young Rachel Joy Scott witnesses her father leave her family in the middle of the night. Her mother then struggles financially and encourages her children to pray for financial help. Rachel begins to become more spiritual in embracing her Christian faith.
By 1998, Scott is a sophomore at Columbine High School, Rachel becomes rebellious and begins sneaking out to hang out with her friends, Madison, Gabby, and Celine. During the summer, Rachel's mother sends her to her cousins in Louisiana, where her spirituality grows. The next year, on the first day of school, Rachel witnesses the jocks picking on Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. Eric then threatens to kill them.
Later that year, Rachel begins to get involved with the head of the drama club, Alex Dickerson, and during a rehearsal, the two kiss. Later on, at a breakthrough meeting, Rachel meets Nathan Ballard, a homeless child whose mother is a heroin addict. With Rachel's help, Nathan is able to be put up at another kid's house. Nathan is grateful.
One day, Rachel's stepfather, Larry, finds a beer bottle from a party in the car, and Rachel loses her right to the car, becoming rebellious again. At the first performance of the school play, Nathan arrives and begins to fight with Alex, embarrassing Rachel. At a party that night, Rachel discovers Alex cheating on her with Madison. Rachel then begins to be bullied more often by others and even considers suicide at one point. However, with Nathan's encouragement, Rachel turns back to her faith and inspires other Christian students to not give up hope, despite being bullied. Meanwhile, Dylan and Eric plan their revenge on the school.
One day, Rachel tries to help Celine with family issues, but is rebuffed. At prom, she reconciles with Rachel, revealing that she has issues with her mother. Not long after, Alex tries to reconcile with Rachel, but she declines his apology.
On April 20, 1999, Rachel reconciles with Madison, and the two make plans to hang out the next day. At lunch, Rachel has an emotional conversation with a fellow student, Richard Castaldo, about family issues. Rachel calms him by saying that everything happens for a reason. Just then, Eric and Dylan come out of the parking lot and begin shooting at Rachel and Richard. Richard is knocked unconscious, while Rachel struggles to get away. Eric and Dylan corner her, and Eric asks her if she still believes in God, and when Rachel tells him that she does, he kills her. The assailants then storm the school, killing 13 others: 12 students and 1 teacher. Eric and Dylan then take their own lives as police and hostage rescue forces storm the building.
All of Rachel's friends pay tribute to her after the shooting. At Rachel's funeral, Nathan gives a eulogy, stating that he always loved her.
Sometime after, Rachel's mother finds a note on a dresser in their house, that Rachel had written years before. The note states that she will one day "touch millions of people's hearts".
Cast and characters
- Masey McLain as Rachel Scott
- Nola Fulk as Young Rachel
- Ben Davies as Nathan Ballard[a]
- Emma Elle Roberts as Celine
- David Errigo Jr. as Eric Harris
- Cory Chapman as Dylan Klebold
- Justin Cone as Sean
- Cameron McKendry as Alex Dickerson
- Taylor Kalupa as Gabby
- Mark Daugherty as Kevin
- Jennifer O'Neill as Linda
- Derick Von Tagen as Craig Scott
- Isaac Lovoy as Mike Scott
- Sadie Robertson as Charity
- Korie Robertson as Aunt Bea
- Bella Robertson as Anna
- Jaci Velasquez as Mrs. Diaz
The film was based on the book The Journals of Rachel Scott, by Debra Klingsporn, and Beth Nimmo, mother of Rachel Scott, who was one of the executive producers of the film. Benny Proffitt, Christian author, speaker and co-founder of Christian youth group, First Priority, oversaw the creation of the film and helped to ensure the integrity of the story throughout the film's production.
The producers of the film accused YouTube of an anti-Christian bias for blocking the official trailer of I'm Not Ashamed for 11 months. Reportedly, the video sharing site had repeatedly removed the trailer for the movie without offering any valid explanation.
The actual circumstances surrounding Rachel Scott's final moments are a subject of dispute. The movie portrays the account in which the final and fatal wound Rachel received was inflicted after Eric Harris approached her as she and Richard Castaldo lay wounded; he lifted Rachel's head by her hair, before asking "Do you still believe in God?", to which she replied, "You know I do." In response, Harris replied, "Then go be with Him", before shooting Rachel in the temple. This is a myth, as it was first reported that Cassie Bernall had been asked the question before being shot during the massacre. However, Dave Cullen, in his 2009 book Columbine, concludes that the person asked about their belief in God was Valeen Schnurr, who survived the shooting.
The movie further shows Richard Castaldo, the student shot directly alongside Rachel and who only survived the attack by feigning death, later recalled hearing Rachel weeping as she curled into a ball upon the grass, before hearing a final gunshot as Harris and Klebold approached them. This coincides with how Castaldo described the events.
On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 20% based on 10 reviews, with an average rating of 4.15/10. On Metacritic, the film received a score of 31 out of 100, based on 6 reviews, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews."
The Guardian rated the film 2 stars out of 5, with their review stating "To use the senseless death of a school shooting victim to promote one's warped political agenda is, to use a trendy term, deplorable." The A.V. Club gave it a D+, stating the film is "just another vehicle for a series of scenes in which devout characters remind each other that God has it all under control" and that "the political implications are very unsavory". The Los Angeles Times gave a mixed review, noting that while there was "...a refreshing lack of moralizing here, and a welcome emphasis on accepting people for who they are," they felt that "the forced ironies of having infamous teen mass-murderers interact with the heroine feels more than a little exploitative."
- Based on Mark Bodiford-Pettit.
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- "'I'm Not Ashamed' - Film about Christian Girl Killed at Columbine Will Co-Star Sadie Robertson". CNS News.
- "Filmmakers Accuse YouTube of Anti-Christian Bias After Trailer is Blocked".
- Savitsky, Sasha (1 October 2016). "YouTube blocked trailer for Christian movie 'I'm Not Ashamed' for months, film execs say".
- "YouTube Blocked Trailer for Christian Movie 'I'm Not Ashamed' for Months, lm Execs Say". Fox News Entertainment. October 3, 2016. Retrieved October 11, 2016.
- The Martyrs of Columbine: Faith and the Politics of Tragedy pp. 141-142
- "'I'm Not Ashamed' Director Why His Movie Isn't 'Christian' Just Because the Lead Character Is (Guest Blog)". 17 October 2016.
- "Craig Scott; Columbine Massacre Survivor, Revisits the High School and Remembers his Murdered Sister Rachel Scott". Huffington Post. April 10, 2013. Retrieved September 25, 2016.
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- "Through the Eyes of Survivors". denverpost.com. 2015-06-13. Retrieved 2016-12-13.
- https://www.christiantoday.com/article/mother-of-christian-girl-killed-by-columbine-shooters-says-she-has-forgiven-killers-and-only-has-respect-for-dylan-klebolds-mom/97155.htm. Retrieved 2019-02-19. Missing or empty
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- "I'm Not Ashamed (2016)". Metacritic. Retrieved November 14, 2016.
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- Rizov, Vadim (October 21, 2016). "I'm Not Ashamed blames Columbine on Darwin". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
- Murray, Noel (October 21, 2016). "Columbine setting inevitably casts a shadow over 'I'm Not Ashamed'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
- Thompson, Luke (October 23, 2016). "'I'm Not Ashamed' To Like Some Aspects Of This Faith-Based Columbine Movie". Forbes. Archived from the original on September 30, 2018. Retrieved September 30, 2018.