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Pro-adoption film “Lifemark” gets second wind overseas after being throttled in U.S.


In the wake of the Dobbs decision, major American movie theaters and Netflix shunned a Christian movie based on a true story of life and forgiveness. Two years later, it’s one of the most streamed in the world, thanks to international support.

A Christian movie about the power of adoption and forgiveness has found new life on streaming platforms even after theaters chose not to show the movie because it conflicted with the pro-abortion push that took over America after the Dobbs decision overturned Roe v. Wade.

Two years later, Netflix still refuses to show the film in the United States.

In September 2022, even as pro-abortion terrorists were firebombing and threatening churches and pro-life pregnancy centers, “Lifemark” provided a true look at what can happen when a mother chooses life over abortion. The movie, directed by the Kendrick Brothers, is an adaptation of the heartwarming reuniting of David Scotton with his birth mother, Melissa Coles, as well as his birth father, Brian Nicholas.

As the Standing for Freedom Center detailed when “Lifemark” first hit theaters,

“Coles became pregnant with David when she was 18, still in high school, and Nicholas was 17. The two were frightened and felt unprepared and unable to take care of a child.

Melissa and Brian decided to end the pregnancy and, together, they drove to an abortion clinic in Indianapolis. Workers at the clinic came out and draped a blanket over Melissa’s head and played loud music to try to block the prayers and calls of the nearby protesters. Before Melissa was whisked inside, however, she heard one protestor cry out to her, “That baby has 10 fingers and 10 toes, and you’re going to kill it.”

Those words stuck with Melissa as she first sat and then was asked to lie down on the table. The doctor came in and prepared to perform the abortion. As he moved towards her and touched her gown, Melissa suddenly exclaimed, ‘I can’t do this.’ The doctor rolled his eyes and threw away his gloves, while Melissa ran out of the clinic. That night, Melissa made the firm decision to let her child live.

That child was adopted by Jimmy and Susan Scotton, a Louisiana couple who desperately wanted him. Susan had already experienced the loss of her two sons to a fatal genetic disorder. When David was born, he found a loving family with the Scottons.

Eighteen years later, Melissa decided to update her contact information with the adoption agency just in case her child decided he wanted to contact her. That led the two to connect and, about a year later, the emotional meeting of David and his birth parents was told for the first time in the short-film documentary ‘I Lived on Parker Avenue.’ The film is a moving picture of the love that grew exponentially and impacted so many people because Melissa chose to allow David to live.”

If you have never heard of “Lifemark” or don’t remember it hitting the theaters, it’s because it couldn’t get a national distribution deal, though Fathom Events did give it a limited showing.

Kirk Cameron, who co-produced “Lifemark” and also played the role of Jimmy Scotton, explained why the film was never picked up by mainstream theaters. “We went to several large film production studios, and they turned it down. They didn’t want to partner with us, and they told us why. It was because of the content. They felt that a movie about valuing a child in the womb and the true story of adoption was a, quote, hot topic, and they feared that because they work in Hollywood, there would be blowback.”

This despite Stephen Kendrick’s statement that the movie wasn’t focused on abortion but on adoption. “This film shows a wide perspective of compassion. This movie doesn’t really beat up abortion; it promotes adoption. And it shows what would happen if a girl who’s afraid chooses courage, chooses compassion for her unborn child, even if she couldn’t raise it herself.…We think people are going to love the movie. We think they’re going to be entertained; they’re going to be inspired.”

“We’re not here to guilt or shame anybody,” Kendrick said, instead they wanted to “help bring healing and hope and forgiveness and compassion.”

Great American Pure Flix acquired the streaming rights to “Lifemark” but offered the rights to Netflix. Netflix declined to air the film in the United States but picked it up in many South and Central American countries.

“Lifemark” proved to be so popular in those countries that it made Netflix’s Global Top Ten. In fact, it was the No. 1 most streamed movie in several countries including Argentina, Costa Rica, Venezuela, and Uruguay. It ranked third in Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and Peru.

Additionally, audiences love “Lifemark,” giving it a 96 percent rating on the online rating site Rotten Tomatoes.

It even played well with critics, who gave it an 83 percent rating.

ScreenRant took notice of “Lifemark’s” rise as an “unexpected hit film.”

The Kendrick Brothers, who have directed a long-running string of hit Christian films, including “Fireproof,” “War Room,” and “Courageous,” responded to “Lifemark’s” popularity with subscribers, posting on X, “God is not finished with LIFEMARK!” along with a link to the ScreenRant story.

Netflix and the movie theaters who declined to show “Lifemark” are private companies and they have the right to decline to show it for any reason they choose. However, entertainment companies that shill for the abortion industry are neglecting a potential market. The Freedom Center recently wrote about the moviegoing audience’s strong demand for more moral storylines and respectful portrayals of religious people.

One has to wonder, was it the specter of screaming protesters or pro-abortion terrorists targeting their theaters or an innate fear of politicians and powerful special interests that have stopped “Lifemark” from being widely offered in the U.S.? It seems likely given Netflix’s decision to stream it widely in predominantly Catholic and pro-life Central and South American nations.

This is further proof that American Christians and conservatives must make an effort to support faith-based entertainment, including major movies coming out this summer. It’s critical to show Netflix, the film industry, and movie theaters that it is in their business interest to risk the ire of outraged wokesters in order to reach those consumers who prefer Christian, conservative, or otherwise moral content.

If you would like to watch “Lifemark,” you can watch it at Pure Flix. Or buy the DVD, Blu-ray, or digital version from various outlets, which are listed here.

PHOTO CREDIT: YouTube Screenshot

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