Make family movie night do double duty by entertaining the kids and providing a springboard for a conversation about pro-life values. Here are seven surprising picks that do the trick.
by Laura Kizior and Mary Kizior
As a family, it’s important to talk about pro-life values.Your children need to learn how to grapple with tough issues as they grow older. The best place for them to learn how to respond to the threats against the human person is in your home. But where do you start?
Films can be great conversation starters about the gospel of life and the dignity of the human person. Movies provide more than just a talking point; they’re entertaining for the whole family as well! When family movie night rolls around, choose one of these life-affirming films to watch and discuss with your family.
Amazing Grace (2006)
In 18th century England, the biggest pro-life cause was the abolition of the slave trade. Fighting against the enslavement of 11 million men, women, and children, William Wilberforce became the driving force in Parliament for the abolition of the slave trade. With the aid of pamphlets, petitions, and testimony from former slaves like Olaudah Equiano, Wilberforce brings the injustice of slavery into the public eye.
The abolitionist movement of the 18th century bears a close resemblance to the pro-life movement today. William Wilberforce was just one man who sought to fix an injustice in society. Think of what could happen if every pro-lifer actively worked to build a culture of life! Amazing Grace reminds us that we each have a specific mission given to us by God. It’s up to us to use our talents to serve him.
August Rush (2007)
Even though he lives in an orphanage, 11-year-old Evan Taylor knows that he has parents and that they love him. Following the music that he believes holds his family together, Evan struggles through the streets of New York City, absorbing all the music and the sounds of the city, hoping that his parents are out there listening and searching for him.
Evan’s story reminds us that no child is ever truly unwanted and that family is the most important pillar of society. We need to uphold families and family values and help broken families heal and strengthen the bonds of familial relationships. As the family goes, so does society.
Penny Serenade (1941)
This black and white classic film starring Cary Grant and Irene Dunne shows how the loving act of adoption not only changes life for the child, but also for the couple. After a whirlwind romance and trials early in their marriage, Julie and Roger Adams decide to adopt a little girl.
Unlike other adoption stories, Penny Serenade ends in family tragedy, but Julie and Roger are able to pick themselves up and open their hearts to another child that God sends them, even in the midst of their terrible grief. Penny Serenade is a sweet story about a family opening itself to the gift of life, with all its challenges, joys, and heartbreak.
The Odd Life of Timothy Green (2012)
Jim and Cindy Green desperately want to be parents, but when they are told that they are unable to have a child, they spend an evening making dreams about their child and bury a list of their hopes of a family in their back garden. When a storm brings a boy named Timothy into their lives, the Greens begin to realize how one life can change so many others. The Odd Life of Timothy Green reminds us that we shouldn’t take anyone for granted and that each human being brings his own unique talents into this world.
Dido Elizabeth Belle is the mixed-race daughter of a British Naval officer and heiress to a decent fortune in 18th century England just before the abolition of the slave trade. Dido’s unmistakable dark skin makes her an anomaly in society; she ranks too high in society to be a servant, but the color of her skin makes it almost impossible for her to be treated as a noblewoman.
Belle is a classic historical film that beautifully portrays the dignity and respect owed to every human being and the inestimable worth of every single person.
Horton Hears a Who! (2008)
Dr. Seuss’ classic tale of the lovable elephant Horton and his quest to save the Whos is brought to life in this full-length animated feature. One day, as Horton relaxes in the Pool of Nool, he hears a small yelp coming from a speck.
Horton realizes that there are people living on the speck and he decides to bring them to safety on the top of Mount Nool before the other animals of the jungle can stop him. Horton Hears a Who! is a classic life-affirming film that teaches that everyone has value because “a person’s a person, no matter how small.”
His whole life, Carl Fredrickson has dreamed of exploring the world, just like the famous explorer Charles Muntz, but he has never gotten the chance. When a construction company tries to buy aging Carl’s home to develop the surrounding area, he decides to take an adventure of his own.
Using thousands of balloons, Carl lifts his house off its foundations and sails away into the sky and off to South America. Throughout his adventures, Carl gradually learns that human beings and family are worth much more than material possessions.
Finding media that supports the culture of life shouldn’t have to be difficult. American Life League’s Culture of Life Studies Program is dedicated to helping parents and teachers find the tools they need to be effective educators in the gospel of life. Find free film discussion guides for these movies and more at cultureoflifestudies.com/movies.