Voiceless is an award-winning, pro-life film inspired by real-life events that was written and directed by Pat Necerato with the intention of tackling the tough topic of abortion and calling the church to action. Producer Stuart Migdon said, “Voiceless was made to engage the church. We believe our film artfully presents the issue in a way that pro-life supporters can rally behind without alienating pro-choice viewers before they’ve had a chance to contemplate our story.”
The movie stars a bombastic, all-in solider, Jesse Dean, who was discharged and moved to inner city Philadelphia with hopes to make a difference in the community alongside the local church as their new outreach leader. Most of his energetic ideas are met with resistance from the church, the abortion clinic, law enforcement and even his wife. Eventually, after many trails, there is unification between his wife, Jocelyn, the church and the police to help bring light to the women walking in and out of the clinic across the street.
A variety of views
While this movie is definitely made with a Christian perspective, it offers a wide variety of views that allow the audience to really contemplate how they would respond if they were in Dean’s position.
While Dean does different outreach projects in the beginning of the movie, he eventually confronts the real issue when a woman asks him if she’ll see her baby in heaven if she has an abortion. After a short, almost impersonal conversation on his part (half of which is muted), the woman storms off and into the abortion clinic.
He seems to be the only one interested in doing something about the clinic, which makes you want to support him, however he makes a crucial mistake. The pastor is trying to keep the peace while Dean is attempting to make a change in a ballistic fashion. It leaves the audience confused on who to support and creates a desire to take sides, but not between clinic and church, rather between Christians.
After his activism takes a dark turn, his headstrong ways suddenly start to actually make a difference. In a low moment, Dean talks one on one with an abortion clinic worker. They come to the realization that both of them do what they do to help people. It creates a sense of understanding both from the pro-life and pro-choice sides.
A serious tone
The film starts off with a rainy scene, immediately setting the tone for a more dismal plot line. Contributing to the seriousness of the movie, all scenes hold a cool-tone. We hear the noisiness of the city drown away and somber music begin to be played as he reads the abortion clinic sign for the first time. As the movie continues, every once in awhile, there’ll be a flash of the abortion clinic sign to remind the audience and perhaps burden us with that thought in the back of our minds, just like it’s in the back of Dean’s.
While the shots are well done, sometimes the transitions are choppy and somewhat unnatural or unrealistic, especially a couple of the fight scenes. There are a fair amount of well-placed scenes where the background noise was drowned out with music. These scenes depict Dean thinking, which allows the audience to reflect on what’s been said so far.
Initially, conversations seem short and oddly insincere since there’s no natural build up to harsh topics; they’re just sort of thrown at you without much follow up. However, there are a few scenes that stick out as exceptions. As the movie climaxes, the deep issues are discussed more and more. One is when Dean comes face to face with the family of the woman he spoke to outside of the clinic. When he says he’s from the church, the entire family displays intense anger towards him, saying “You messed with her head…get out of here”. He has to confront how he handled a situation. It is a very real, raw scene that people will definitely take a lot away from.
While it wasn’t without flaw, Voiceless did present the audience with real life complications and arguments that come with abortion in today’s society. It poses multiple view points on hard topics, and the audience is forced to sort through all of these opinions.
The movie states that everyone involved in abortions is forgiven. It also stresses that Christianity should be there for people after they’ve sinned, but more importantly before the sin is committed. It presents a position of activism, almost to a fault, as Dean recklessly attempts to make a difference. Some would prefer Dean take a more loving, prayerful approach.
The end of the movie comes together in a fulfilling way that shows, these problems continue to happen in society and will continue to happen, but there are people who are willing to fight against them in the name of Jesus’ love.
Check out Voiceless in theatres on October 7th and consider how you would’ve handled the situation if you were in Dean’s position.
Gabriella Morris is a writer at Good News. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org