Australian Council on Children and the Media

I Still Believe

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Short takes

Not suitable under 10; parental guidance to 13 (disturbing scenes and themes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for I Still Believe
  • a review of I Still Believe completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 16 March 2020.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 10 Not suitable due to disturbing scenes and themes.
Children aged 10–13 Parental guidance recommended due to disturbing scenes and themes.
Children over the age of 13 Ok for this age group.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: I Still Believe
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild Themes
Length 117 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

I Still Believe is based on a true story about Christian music singer Jeremy Camp (J. K. Apa) and his first wife Melissa (Britt Robertson). Jeremy was raised by his father, Tom (Gary Sinise), a pastor at Harvest Chapel, La Fayette, Indiana and his mother Terry (Shania Twain). Jeremy left home to attend the Calvary Chapel Bible College in California where he met and fell in love with Melissa.

It wasn't long after they met that Melissa was diagnosed with stomach cancer which then spread to her liver. Following surgery and chemotherapy Jeremy and Melissa married but shortly after the cancer returned to her ovaries. Jeremy wrote the song I Still Believe after her death.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Death and dying; grief and loss; cancer; Christian faith.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • A bit of horseplay – Jeremy throws something at his brother and tells him to “shut up”.
  • Melissa breaks a glass jar and smashes it in frustration.
  • Jeremy smashes his guitar in grief.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • Nothing particularly scary though many of the scenes highlighted below are likely to disturb children in this age group.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • Melissa is seen a few times in hospital attached to IV drips and tubes.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

In addition to the above mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged eight to thirteen, including the following:

  • Melissa's hair starts falling out after chemo treatment. She shaves all of her hair off (not actually shown).
  • Melissa and Jeremy are both seen crying on several occasions.
  • Melissa has to have needles to help with the pain.
  • Melissa coughs up blood and is rushed to hospital.
  • That same night Melissa dies. Jeremy is distraught and all of Melissa’s family gather round her bed crying and praying.
  • A funeral is held and Melissa’s coffin is lowered into the ground.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Nothing further of concern.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Pizza King delivery vehicle.

Sexual references

  • None noted.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Jeremy and Melissa kiss briefly on several occasions.
  • Jeremy and Melissa are seen in bed but fully clothed.

Use of substances

  • None noted.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Some name calling such as “you idiot” and shut up.

In a nutshell

I Still Believe is a faith-based movie about love, loss and grief. It is a very moving story, with the question of faith put to the greatest test, likely to appeal to fans of Jeremy Camp and other Christian followers. Due to its sad themes on death and dying it isn't suitable for children under 10 and parental guidance is recommended for children aged 10 – 13.

The main messages from this movie are that faith will help you overcome all obstacles in life and that there is hope after despair.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Faith and hope.
  • Compassion.
  • Love and caring.
  • Being there for someone through thick and thin.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as.

  • Their own beliefs about religion and life after death.

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