Lifemark

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Short takes

Not suitable under 13; parental guidance to 15 (adult themes, lack of interest for younger viewers)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Lifemark
  • a review of Lifemark completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 24 October 2022.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 13 Not suitable due to adult themes and lack of interest.
Children aged 13–15 Parental guidance recommended due to adult themes and lack of interest for younger viewers.
Children over the age of 15 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: Lifemark
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild themes
Length: 105 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

David Colton (Raphael Ruggero) has just turned 18 and is enjoying celebrating the occasion with his adopted parents, Jimmy (Kirk Cameron) and Susan (Rebecca Rogers). David has always felt different to other kids and that a part of him was missing. However, when his birth mother, Melissa (Dawn Long), reaches out to him, he isn’t sure he wants to meet her. Susan suggests they take it a step at a time and they send Melissa a letter with some of David’s information.

Melissa then contacts David via social media and the two make a connection. Melissa is desperate to meet her son in person and eventually they agree to meet up. It is a very emotional time for Melissa, who was only 18 when she had David. Brian, (Lowrey Brown) the father, felt he was too young to become a father and encouraged Melissa to have an abortion at the time. Melissa was about to have the procedure when she changed her mind and chose to have him adopted instead. Susan and Jimmy are forever grateful for the decision she made.

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.

Anti-abortion/Pro-Life; Teenage pregnancy.

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:

  • David enjoys wrestling and is seen in a wrestling match.
  • David collapses after the match.
  • Brian and Melissa argue about what to do with the baby.

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.

  • Nothing further of concern.

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.

  • Nothing further of concern.

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:

  • Susan lost two boys at an early age and is seen weeping at their graves.
  • David has to have surgery for a congenital condition that places pressure on his brain.

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.

  • Melissa describes the abortion clinic (and is shown) as a cold and sterile place. The doctor is unfriendly and Melissa leaves there without undergoing the procedure.
  • Protesters are shown outside the abortion clinic with placards. They call out to Melissa and beg her not to have the abortion.
  • Melissa is crying as she hands her baby over for adoption.
  • Melissa takes David to show him the abortion clinic where she chose to give him life. David says, “I almost died on Porter Ave”.

Product placement

  • None noted.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Teenage pregnancy of Melissa.
  • David’s friend’s sister also becomes pregnant and David wants to talk her into keeping the baby.

Nudity and sexual activity

  • None noted.

Use of substances

  • None noted.

Coarse language

  • None noted.

In a nutshell

Lifemark is a faith-based movie presented by a pro-life group in the US. The film is very emotive and addresses a very divisive subject – promoting the belief that life is sacred and that there are loving families out there waiting to bring a child into their home for various reasons. Due to the subject matter of the film, it isn’t recommended for children under 13 and parental guidance is recommended for children aged 13-15.

The main messages from this movie are that adoption is preferable to abortion; and that families come in different forms.

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

  • Parenting is more than just giving birth.
  • Adoption can be a positive experience for all involved.
  • Acceptance.
  • Unconditional love.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children the importance of being responsible in matters of sexual relationships. Parents could also talk about a woman’s rights to decide for herself about what is necessary for her. A third option that isn’t explored in the film, is the ability to decide to bring up a child alone. Parents could discuss the implications of all of these choices.