By Nicole Chappell
Note: Article contains spoilers.
“Lifemark,” a motion picture opening Sept. 9 in select theaters in the U.S. and Canada, tells the story of three families brought together by adoption. The film is based on the short documentary “I Lived on Parker Avenue” (2017), in which attorney and speaker David Scotton shares his experience as an adopted child reconnecting with his biological family. LCMS Life Ministry has developed resources to aid viewers interested in further study and discussion of the issues raised in the movie.
“Lifemark” begins as David (Raphael Ruggero) turns 18, the age at which he is allowed to contact his birth mother if he chooses. At the same time, his birth mother, Melissa (Dawn Long), updates her contact information in case her biological child wants to find her.
In flashbacks, the audience learns that David was adopted by Jimmy and Susan Colton (Kirk Cameron and Rebecca Rogers Nelson) after being given up by Melissa (played as a high school senior by Marisa Hampton). As David faces changes in his personal life and prepares for a speech contest about the value of family, he ponders questions about his identity and future. Ultimately, David connects with his biological parents and learns “what it means to be adopted.”
While adoption is the focus of the movie, abortion figures prominently. After Melissa and David reconnect, they visit the now-closed abortion clinic Melissa went to when she first found out she was pregnant, and Melissa tells David about the day he nearly died. The references to abortion are not graphic, but parents may wish to prepare their teenagers before allowing them to view the film.
David’s experience of meeting his biological family leads him to see the beauty of adoption and become an advocate for choosing life. Prayer is prevalent in the film. Families, churches and youth groups who view the film will have the opportunity to talk not only about adoption but about vocation, family, abortion, suffering, repentance, forgiveness and God’s gift of life.
“Lifemark,” rated PG-13 for its subject matter and themes, was produced by Stephen, Alex and Shannon Kendrick and Kirk Cameron and directed by Kevin Peeples. It has a run time of 120 minutes.
Visit lifemarkmovie.com for more information.
To download a discussion guide and a Bible study on the subject of adoption visit the “Lifemark” resource page.
Nicole Chappell (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a senior at Concordia University Chicago, River Forest, Ill., currently serving as a deaconess intern with LCMS Life Ministry.
Posted Sept. 6, 2022