I attended a screening event for Gimme Shelter, a movied based on true events about the courageous story of how a homeless pregnant teenager found herself in a shelter. I also had the opportunity to interview director, Ronald Krauss, and film inspiration, Kathy DiFiore. The story is inspiring and was captured beautifully in the remarkable movie.
As Kathy DiFiore suggests, it’s not a movie, it’s a movement. Be moved by the inspiring film and take the time to learn about how Kathy’s great efforts as a one time homeless woman herself is changing the lives of young mothers.
The star studded cast includes Vanessa Hudgens as the main character, Agnes “Apple” Bailey. Her wealthy father is played by Brendan Frasier and her drug addicted abusive mother is portrayed by Rosario Dawson. Each cast member went through remarkable physical transformations for the film. Vanessa Hudgens is hardly recognizable from her sweet High School Musical character.
The film begins showing Apple (Vanessa Hudgens) cut her hair and leave the apartment she had called home. Her mother (Rosario Dawson) chases her outside and demonstrates exactly why Apple was leaving. Trying to leave a life of abuse behind her, Apple seeks out her Wall Street father (Brendan Fraser). Surprising to the audience, he lets her in. The warm bed and food are what Apple needs but the relationship takes a turn when she discovers she is pregnant. Her father and his wife urge her to get an abortion and do not support her decision to keep the baby. Again homeless, through a series of other unfortunate events, Apple finds herself hospitalized and meets the chaplain. He guides her to Kathy DiFiore’s shelter for young pregnant women.
Apple lives with the women through out her pregnancy and finally is given the warmth she needs to love herself. Through many trials and challenges, including several attempted visits from her parents, Apple grows a strong bond to Kathy and the other girls in the shelter. She is given hope and the chance for a promising future.
As a mother myself, watching the film was emotional. Later hearing from the director and Kathy made me understand the power of this story. I learned so much about how the film was made during my interview. The remarkable performances and effort from the director and film crew will leave a lasting impression.