'Gimme Shelter' Shows the Saving Power of Hope

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Vanessa Hudgens stars as a desperate, pregnant teen in the new movie "Gimme Shelter," set to release nationwide Jan. 24. The film portrays its pro-life message by showing, not preaching.

The word "abortion" is never used, but for much of the film that is what's on the line. Though ghetto-raised, physically and sexually abused, Apple will fight the odds and her own parents to keep the baby growing within her.

Hudgens plays the bruised and beaten-down Apple, terrified of her own mother -- a frightening, desperate drug addict played by Rosario Dawson. She is also horribly let down by the rich father she's just found, played by Brendan Fraser.

Apple ends up homeless, half-frozen, friendless until nearly deadly negative circumstances lead her to a very positive place: a warm home for unwed teenage moms.

The entire film is based on true stories that director, writer, and producer Ron Krauss found living at one of Kathy DiFiore's five women's shelters in New Jersey to do his research.

DiFiore herself was once homeless after fleeing an abusive husband.

"I went from bed to bed, friend to friend, and it was a long time," DiFiore told CBN News.

She said she was intensely grateful to the Lord for keeping her safe once she got a home of her own.

"I felt it was my time to pay back," DiFiore explained. "And I sat in my living room in that little tiny house and I wrote God a blank check. And I wrote, 'To God, from Kathy.' The amount: 'Whatever I have.'"

"Gimme Shelter" takes us into the world of hope that DiFiore and thousands of supporters have given many desperate homeless women.

It's not preachy; it just takes you up close to one beautiful but battered girl as you watch her transformed by friendship, a future and the power of the little life she brings into the world.

"Young people are doing terrible things to each other, like bullying, and there's just so much negativity," DiFiore lamented. "And I think this is a very positive movie that parents need to take their children to so they can be infused with hope and courage and love."

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Paul  Strand

Paul Strand

CBN News Washington Sr. Correspondent

As senior correspondent in CBN's Washington, D.C., bureau, Paul Strand has covered a variety of political and social issues, with an emphasis on defense, justice, and Congress.  Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulStrandCBN and "like" him at Facebook.com/PaulStrandCBN.