What would you do if you were sitting at your computer and you suddenly got an e-mail inviting you to a preview of a new feature film for and about teens called “To Save A Life”? Would you:

A – delete the e-mail   
B – read the e-mail, realize that the preview is in North Syracuse, nearly two hours from your house and then delete the e-mail.
Or C – call up a couple of your co-workers and invite them to go with you.

I would like to persuade you to choose option C.

That’s what I did, and that’s how I and two members of the Abstinence Education Council found ourselves several months ago in Syracuse, NY, seated in a Methodist church munching on popcorn and drinking out of little bottles of water. We didn’t really know what to expect except that it was supposed to be a film for teens and that the people invited were those who work with young people.

What we saw was a compelling film about clueless teenagers, who have little or no guidance and have troubles with capital T’s. One earth-shattering moment propels the hero of this drama into a quest, which changes his life and the lives of those around him. The big problems are mostly covered from teen suicide, to alcohol abuse, to cutting, to peer pressure and teen pregnancy.

To watch this film was heart-wrenching, what have we done to our children to make them behave like this?  This movie tells us, as we get a glimpse of the broken homes and families from which these children come. This is not the Cosby show. There are no wise fathers, few supportive adults, and nearly everyone is broken. Nearly everyone is selfish, self-absorbed and mindlessly looking for a “good time”.

So, why were we sitting there at 7 PM at night previewing “To Save A Life?  We were asked to come so that we could see the movie and spread the word. The producers wanted to blitz the movie theaters that all-important opening weekend in January.  Like the Mel Gibson film “The Passion of the Christ” they were trying to start a groundswell of grassroots support.

It worked, for me at least. I sent e-mails out to my lists, called up pastors and talked the movie up with people that I know and now I am here to tell you all about it.

What makes “To Save A Life” worth seeing?  At least one reason, which actually breaks a cardinal rule of storytelling, is that the film ends with solutions, realistically and without preaching. Usually, a reader/viewer/listener is supposed to come to his own conclusions, but because many kids are now raised in a moral vacuum, this film spells out the thought processes. Although this film comes from a Christian perspective, the questions it raises about life can even be answered humanistically.  It’s a movie for older teens, but it’s also a movie to wake up parents and those who someday hope to be parents.  It’s what we need to see now, in our society today.

This country used to have a common culture, based on the bedrock of age-old Judeo-Christian teaching. We knew what the ending of stories should be. But now, with tolerance, diversity and hedonism as the prime motivators of behavior, our society is standing on quicksand and we no longer know how our stories are supposed to end.

In conclusion, “To Save A Life” is unapologetically NOT politically correct. It shows real problems and gives good practical solutions and it shows how one person can make a difference if he tries.

It is now out on DVD and I urge you to get a copy of it. This film really has the potential to save lives, by inspiring people to take action and I hope that you will join me in trying to spread the word.

* DVD's will be available starting August 3rd!