So I’ve had requests to review this movie I’m Not Ashamed–several times actually–which is kind of a first for this blog. I finally gave in, found a copy of the movie online, and sat down with my Mike’s Hard Lemonade (Watermelon flavor!) to watch this decades-past-the-fact biopic of one of the victims of the 1999 massacre of Columbine.
To probably nobody’s surprise, I was angered and saddened by it. Here follows the mega-review and a short rant about the movie, as is traditional; we’ll talk more about it in coming days but of course you are welcome to add your thoughts below in the comments (hooray we have comments back!).
IN THE BEGINNING.
We open with some text about how Rachel Scott, the young woman at the heart of I’m Not Ashamed, wrote down her “thoughts, struggles and dreams in her journals” (no Oxford comma? Heretics). I’m not sure a teen girl has all that many struggles, but okay. The movie claims to be based on those journals and “first hand accounts.”
First scene: She’s writing about how she wants to be “a light” but everything seems so dark. She’s walking alone in her school with a gigantic cross necklace on and talking about her depression.
Now we see news footage of the massacre. A newsman talks about how Americans want a reason why the massacre occurred, over footage of kids fleeing the scene. Then we get the title card and Rachel’s a little kid drawing on the her white-painted wooden bureau as if she’s the reason. That can’t be right!
She draws an outline of her hand on the bureau with a biiiiig smile and writes in its center that one day she wants to “touch millions of hearts” or something. Oh yay.
Now she’s a tween sharing a room with her big sister, and we see her at night watching her dad drive away in his truck. She and her sister Bethany hug.
Rachel’s mother is dealing with bills. Bethany is SO over this poverty thing. Mom gathers the kids and tells them that they’re going to pray for the money to pay their bills. Lord, this is excruciating. The mother asks for money for bills; the kids want clothes and stuffed animals. Rachel asks for money for Bethany’s car insurance money. They go to a thrift shop. Little Rachel finds a hat rack and tries on hats with a big smile.
Years later Rachel is an older teen and apparently she didn’t get a leading role in the big school play. A huge athletic boy is getting high-fived over the same play. Her friends reassure her. They’re at lunch and all drooling over some boy. Rachel’s whining about how she’d love this boy to notice her. Her friends try to advise her to quit wearing the dumb hats because they make her look a little childish.
Back at home that night, Rachel arranges her covers in a lump to make it look like she’s there, then sneaks out. Bethany catches her, but she leaves anyway. She meets up with her friends and they go to the party, which appears to be hosted by the boy she’s crushing on who got the leading role, though it’s hard to tell.
This movie is the visual equivalent of Polo cologne.
The friends abandon her to the boy, who is indeed Alex, and Rachel and Alex then have a super-deep conversation fueled by underage drinking while she draws on her jeans. (I remember doing that in the mid-80s! Drove my mom nuts.) Turns out the boy, Alex, is charmed by her offbeat quirkiness. He asks if she’s spiritual; she says no (OMG SHE DENIED JESUS) and he says he is.
She sneaks back into her house through the window she’d left by, and her mother is there waiting for her in the dark. Her mother smells smoke and “booze” on her and asks if she’s “buzzing.” (OMG) Rachel’s going to be sent to her aunt and uncle’s for the summer in Shreveport.
I’ve been through Shreveport many times and I’d be upset at the idea of going there for three months myself.
Preying Upon The Innocent.
In Shreveport, she hangs out in her relatives’ barn (yeah, in a Louisiana summer a suburban teen is totally going to hang out in a barn) and insists that nobody could possibly understand her. She cries and her cousin says that she, too, struggled to deal with all the pressures that come to bear on a teenager in today’s Middle Class Society. She just couldn’t, she says, until she “had to let God in.”
FUCK. THIS. MOVIE.
Fifteen minutes in and I’ve hit my first FUCK THIS MOVIE. That’s gotta be a record.
Rachel mumbles that she’s already tried “the church thing.” Her cousin keeps evangelizing at her about the sense of peace she’ll get if she does Christianity the way that her cousin did. Rachel is intrigued, probably because she doesn’t know that this is one of the religion’s totally false claims. Her aunt continues the proselytization process and Rachel is sucked in.
FUCK. THIS. MOVIE.
In a church scene of fundagelicals raising their hands and singing blissfully, Rachel goes to the altar and confesses her sins and repents and asks for Jesus to become herpersonallordandsavior. I think Dark Dungeons did it better. Her cousin gives a big ole Jesus smile as Rachel dives into a lake, which I suppose symbolizes baptism. Her aunt later gives her a blank journal to write in, apparently her first, and Rachel begins writing in it. It’s the usual newbie-Christian-teen glurge. She’s too young to really know that all that religious stuff is just feel-good rah-rah.
She goes back to school and now she has her Jesus Aura on point.
A beefy bully guy called Bryan Riggs comes by and invites Rachel’s friends to the series of parties he plans to throw. They’re excited.
Bryan and his friends bully a “dork,” who looks like Alex but I can’t tell and don’t care, by sliding him along a floor greased with baby oil. He might be one of the killers. I have no idea.
Next scene: the kids are in a class where an earnest-looking teacher informs them about evolution and how Hitler totally loved the idea. No kidding. He says a major point of Hitler’s writing was that Nazis had a duty to “aid evolution.” I’ll check that claim later because it seems so totally out of place, but for now…
FUCK. THIS. MOVIE.
Rachel is on a bench talking to an Asian kid about how she wants to change the world but can’t “see [her] future.” She wants to bring about “a chain reaction.” In drama class Rachel moons over Alex and draws a rose (she draws a lot of these exact roses, over and over again; it reminds me of how in high school I had the same habit, though I didn’t draw roses).
At a huge party that night, she’s in another dumb hat and advancing on Alex, who’s alone at the breakfast bar drinking and smoking. She was trying to flirt and Alex was starting to reciprocate, but then a bunch of hot blonde girls come up and hug him and chase her away.
It’s daytime and Rachel, in the same dumb hat, is trying to charm her mother’s new husband/boyfriend/something Larry into letting her use his car; he doesn’t want to let her have it and is clearly overwhelmed by all the kids his new flame has all over the house. Rachel acts very weirdly flirty with Larry and demands a smile from him before releasing his hand and backing off from the demand of the car.
We might have to talk about this strange flirty behavior later; it’s distinctly odd and off-putting that a teen girl is acting this way. Her mother doesn’t say a word about it.
After their dad blows off their custodial weekend with him, Rachel writes in her journal. Write, Rachel, write!
At Work and Church.
At Rachel’s job in some diner or something, a woman who is clearly disturbed on some level comes in and sits down without placing an order. The boss demands that Rachel throw the woman out because he’s “busy” (with what? There’s nobody at the counter). As Rachel approaches, another woman intervenes and places an order for food for the disturbed woman. Rachel’s totally impressed. The woman leaves her gloves.
Later that night, Rachel writes about how “hard” it is “to walk with God.” Maybe that’s because there isn’t any “God.” Prophetically, a youth pastor talks in the next scene about how it’s not always easy to be a TRUE CHRISTIAN™ but it’s always the right thing to do. A guy goes to the pizza and stuffs a bunch into his backpack and leaves when Rachel approaches him. She leaves the building and follows him.
Do I need to say it? Really? Do I?
Rachel walks through the scary dark streets following him and catches up to him in an alley or field. She follows him to a convenience store and insists on buying him food. She invites the homeless kid to church again and gets his name: Nathan.
At School and Bible Study.
At lunch, Rachel’s friends warn her about getting too Jesus-y. Meanwhile, the bullied kid from earlier is talking about the eugenics thing from the earlier class and how he wishes he could cleanse and purge the world of those he doesn’t like. The beef-necked bully bullies one of the black-trenchcoat-wearing loner guys.
Later that night, two of the bullied trenchcoat-wearing kids are playing vidya and talking about how nice it’d be if the FPS they’re playing was their school. The other kid says it could be.
I have no idea who any of these people are and I don’t care. Most of them are unremarkable young men with dark hair. For the longest time I thought the bullied kid in the first school scene was Alex.
At Bible study, which is outside on couches OMG QUIRKY, Rachel goes and looks for Nathan, who is hanging around nearby. She tells him she’s got food for him from home. She invites him to the Bible study and he declines. She says she’ll play in traffic if he doesn’t.
Jeez, this is really not good. Nathan opens up to the youth group having the Bible study, but his serious problems are like totally next-level compared to their picayune worries about school tests and leading roles in plays. They simply have no idea how to handle real problems; Jesus doesn’t do anything, after all. One of the scrubbed-clean kids there offers Nathan crash space, since Jesus didn’t fix any problems.
The next morning, one of the soon-to-be spree killers calls the other (I think it’s the bullied kid?) and demands a ride to school, threatening him if he doesn’t show up soon. Rachel goes into the auditorium with Dreamboat Alex to practice for a play the class is putting on. Alex grabs her journal and reads a bit of it. The practice ends with him kissing her. She gets the part she wants and is very happy.
They Really Hate This School.
The bullied kid who likes eugenics talks about how he’s gonna do something terrible that I didn’t catch. See? SEE? This is what happens when schools teach evolutionism! This!
Nathan takes communion with the Bible study group. He’s considerably cleaner now and he’s got a job. Rachel even made him a journal.
Rachel gets a car for her birthday. Hooray! She tells her parents she’ll be responsible with it and the next scene is a huge party of high-school kids in the woods. She tries to have the Relationship Talk with Alex. Alex doesn’t want to give her any definitive answers. He sounds like an idiotic high-schooler, but I guess he actually is one so that’s okay. He won’t even tell her if she’s the only girl he’s dating; it seems obvious that she isn’t.
She writes in her journal later that she feels “distant from God.” I could tell her why, I think. She says she “wants more.” She wants to “tap into something higher.” Her enunciation really sucks; most of this is mumbled very badly. Nathan tries to Jesus-talk her and he doesn’t know any more than she does.
She goes to parties and it doesn’t help.
Her stepfather finds booze bottles in the new car she just got while cleaning the car (Rachel insists that the booze wasn’t hers; we never see her smoking or drinking at any point and it’s not even implied that she engages in such vices). Her nattering mother wants to pull Rachel away from the play and is angry that her female friends don’t go to that Bible study, because we all know that Bible study makes kids behave.
At the Bible study, Nathan yells at her about Alex because he’s not the right kind of Christian. They get into a fight over Alex and she storms off. I wonder if Nathan has a thing for her.
Alex is actually a decently well-drawn character; he’s skeevy and full of himself in that way that seems unique to high-school boys. When he kisses Rachel onstage, Nathan closes his eyes, all pained. The play is a huge success. I’m shocked that a high-school play in the 90s allowed kissing; we never could have done that in the 80s.
After the play, Alex and Nathan step up and Nathan tells Alex that he’d “better take care of her.” They get into a scuffle. Poor Rachel!
There’s a huge party later that night. These guys party a lot. Alex joins the girls on the couch and yells to the crowd that the play was a hit and everyone cheers. Rachel asks if Alex wants to go somewhere quiet to “be alone,” but clearly just wanted to go make out. Alex seems to think that this is the night she’s going to lose her v-card, but she resists because she’s “in a commitment.” She leaves and heads into the driveway, littered with cars, and paces around and thinks.
When she returns, she decides to find Alex and wanders the house. She finds Alex about to screw one of her friends, Madison. Alex tells Rachel that she’s too “high-maintenance.” Madison tells Rachel that warned her that the “Jesus freak thing” would be a problem, and Alex just stops cold and says “Wait a minute…. are you, like, a serious Christian?????” like he is totally totally shocked and Rachel hasn’t once talked about it around him despite it being one of the topics she is most interested in in the world.
FUCK. THIS. MOVIE.
Obviously, Rachel is heartbroken. She runs off and cries in her car like only a high-school girl getting her heart broken for the very first time can cry. It is the worst thing that’s ever happened in the history of forever.
EVIL EVOLUTIONISM, Redux.
The black trenchcoat-wearing kids are shooting at bowling-pins in a field and look pleased at their accuracy.
The next day at school, one of the two of them runs into Rachel and teases her about her breakup with Alex, informing her that Christians are hypocrites and “God” is a cultural construct.
SEE? THIS IS WHAT TEACHING EVOLUTIONISM GETS YOU. SEE? SEE?
FUCK. THIS. MOVIE.
Her friend Selene, a bobbed-hair moppet who parties and has a lot of sex, leaves campus in the middle of the day right then, and Rachel goes to her house to ask what’s wrong. Selene slams her door in her face.
Rachel still feels “numb to God,” she writes later in her shared journal with Nathan. Her former besties are now ignoring her after the party. She cries in the hallway and is super-sad and lonely. Jesus does not help anybody. She goes up to the top of a building and appears to briefly consider suicide.
“I’m drowning in my own wake of despair,” she writes. “I’m dying.”
Oh. My. God. This is seriously tiresome. Teen girls are the richest source of histrionics on the planet, and I was no different, but nobody made a movie about my ramblings at least. This movie feels so damned exploitive.
Rachel doesn’t commit suicide; she sees the dog-tag necklace that Nathan gave her and runs to find him in his usual haunt outside the Bible study, the abandoned lot, and throws herself in his arms and cries. Leia did it better, sis, just sayin’.
Everyone prays over her in the Bible study. Miracles don’t happen. She goes home, kneels in the darkness in her room, and declares that she will not be ashamed of the name of Jesus. If she must sacrifice everything, then so be it.
FUCK. THIS. MOVIE.
Renewed and refreshed, Rachel returns to the building where she almost threw herself to her death, but this time she’s in a pretty summer dress and her hair’s flowing instead of her grunge getup the last time. She smiles into the sunset and goes home to hug her mom.
This movie is a hagiography. I just figured it out. Surprised it took me this long.
The Giant Cross Necklace.
Rachel starts to wear a really obnoxious giant cross necklace and writes about how she’s become an outcast because of her faith (hint: it wasn’t anything to do with her beliefs). Alex is now trying out all the lines he used on Rachel on Madison! Rachel tells Nathan later that she knows people won’t accept her because of her faith, but she hopes her passion will change the world. Hooray Team Jesus!
The spree killers are readying for the massacre. They think it’ll be just like a video game.
Rachel meanwhile is talking about a “chain reaction” of compassion that she hopes will change the world. She preaches at her art class (the assignment is “how they’d change the world) and they’re not quite impressed. When she proselytizes at them pretty hardcore, they’re even less impressed. She says that “Jesus gave his life to me, and I want to give my life for him.”
It’s a very hamfisted sermonette; it comes out of nowhere and feels very forced. I don’t think it happened. If this scene really did happen as described, I cannot imagine how mortified I’d be feeling on her behalf if I’d seen it myself. As it is, I know now that we’re dealing with a hagiography, and realism isn’t required in such narratives. The movie makers are making her as perfect and as Christian as possible given the facts of her life.
In the same class, the spree killers made a video about how they’d change the world; the video is put into the VCR in the classroom and played (the teacher did not preview the short herself, as I’d imagine would be customary). In the killers’ video, a nerdy guy on camera complains about being bullied. The trenchcoat-wearing killers approach and inform him that while weapons are not allowed on school grounds, if he can just get his bullies away from the school they’ll help him. The next scene has them shooting one of the bullies. The teacher stops the video when Rachel objects to it, but one of the killers declares that that really would make the world a better place.
As she’s going up the stairs, the killers corner her and demand to know why she stopped their video from playing (she didn’t; the teacher and other students were very uncomfortable with it too); it’s very threatening and she escapes quickly, but not before the killers taunt her for being just like all the other terrible people in the school that they hate. The scene feels forced as well; there is a good chance that this encounter never happened and is here in the movie only to set up Rachel’s coming martyrdom.
Rachel goes to Prom with her friend Kevin (I think?) and has a good time. It’s a prom scene, what can you say. Alex tries to make up with her but gosh, he can’t help “being drawn to [Madison’s] energy.” Her moppet friend Selene confesses that she doesn’t really know what life is all about, and she “just wants something like [Rachel has].” OMG JESUS JUKE OPENING. But she doesn’t actually try to proselytize, so I guess that’s good.
At Bible study, she asks Nathan why she can’t see her own future.
Fortune-telling is actually totally forbidden to Christians, naughty Rachel.
She tells Nathan that she has no idea why “God” hands her so much painful stuff to process. Gosh, nobody’s ever had it as hard as middle-upper-class Rachel, with parents who love her, her own car, and a bright scholastic future, plus all the Jesus-ing she can hold. A boy broke her heart, y’all. My god, my god, lama sabachthani?
She invites a short, cleft-palate kid, Austin, on a date the next day. Too bad the date won’t ever happen. A black athlete that Rachel befriended (the only one in the school, it seems) is walking down the hallway with the beefy bully guy and his pals. The black guy is nice to Austin, and when some other boys walk by teasing Austin as “the freak,” the bully slams them into lockers and asks what their problem is. He’s growing a heart! How sweet! Austin walks with them and fist-bumps the bully.
The killers are assembling bombs in the basement. They think they’ll be heroes and say “Heil Hitler!”
SEE? THIS IS EVOLUTIONARY TEACHING.
In her huge cross necklace, Rachel wonders if she’s the only one like her and thinks about her depression. I’m not going to downplay the seriousness of depression; the way she’s portrayed here makes me think she may have actual depression. Her angst simply overwhelms the tiny problems she has. But the movie insists that her sorrow is divine somehow.
I admit it, I’m tearing up as the clock radio announces the time and date: it’s April 20, 1999. Rachel kisses everyone goodbye and heads for school. She’s wearing a dumb hat again. Her brother has on a white ballcap and she tries to take it off of him, but he insists on wearing it.
While the killers double-check their list of victims, Rachel parks her car and rushes to class.
The killers get into the cafeteria and open their tote bags full of weapons.
Rachel tells a male acquaintance that they’ll make time to talk outside later, which is probably where she’s going to get killed. She gives a letter to her former best friend Madison to read later. Her art teacher watches her draw tears on her notebook. Rachel draws exactly 13 tears and the teacher asks why, but Rachel says she doesn’t know.
OMG PREMONITIONS Y’ALL. PREMONITIONS.
This is so forced. I doubt anyone would care to count the tears exactly, but this number makes Christians totally gooey.
The boy who wanted to talk to Rachel goes out on the lawn with her during lunch to talk about his parents’ divorce.
The killers are getting their guns out of the car. Their bomb didn’t go off, so they’re going with what one of them calls “Plan B.”
Rachel tells the boy that “God doesn’t waste anything.” Then he looks up and wonders if the killers are pulling a prank or something.
Right then, the killers start shooting, nailing Rachel and her friend. One of the killers approaches the grievously-injured girl and asks her where her god is now. One jokes, “What would Jesus do?” (The saying got popular in the mid-90s so I know what you’re thinking, but it actually fits okay.) One pulls her head back by the hair and asks if she still believes in her god. She says, “You know I do.” The killer tells her, “Then go be with him” and puts a gun to her head. She closes her eyes.
The screen goes black; a single shot is fired.
In real life, Rachel’s friend on the lawn pretended to be dead already. She didn’t. That’s all that separated them in their fates.
That is all of the actual massacre that the movie shows.
Thank goodness for small favors. (But I think PureFlix made that decision to avoid having all the other injuries and deaths draw attention from Saint Rachel. Their focus is entirely on her, and now that she’s dead, the scene is done. Sorta like a grisly Assassin’s Creed.)
The aftermath is shown on news clips, including one of then-President Bill Clinton.
Rachel’s red car is still in the parking lot where she last left it. Kids come to it and put flowers on it. Lots of kids. Her prom date Kevin is the first, followed by all the rest of the school’s surviving kids. Moppet Selene is one of the last mourners.
I just noticed something. Every time one of her friends was identified in the movie, I checked against the list of victims. None of main kids in the movie appear on that list that I could find except Austin, one of the last victims (he survived), and maybe Isaiah (the black Christian athlete, who died). I think that was a good decision, even while I suspect it was done so none of them could steal Rachel’s thunder. For example, the kid she talks to on the lawn in reality was one of her friends, but in the movie she barely knows the guy and was just out there to be nice and listen to him pour his heart out.
Also, from what I’m reading of the massacre, the killers were targeting boys in white hats–which were traditional identifiers of so-called jocks at that school–which in turn explains why there’s a scene before the shootings where Rachel is arguing with her brother over his decision to wear a white hat. Craig Scott, her brother, in reality was almost murdered as well because he was in the library wearing the hat–but he pretended to have died in one of the barrages of bullets and survived. The movie never tells us this; you just have to guess or know already that the killers were there targeting kids in white caps.
Our last look at the high school shows that over time, Rachel’s car ends up covered in flowers and tributes. (In real life, the car was almost obscured; the school built a fence around it and made it a memorial.) And Nathan gives her eulogy at her funeral and it’s very sweet.
Just as Rachel drew all over her bureau in childhood and her jeans in her teens, her friends have drawn all over her white coffin. Very sweet.
Her mother is putting her effects away and runs across the journal and dog-tag necklace. She puts them on the bureau. When the necklace falls down, she pulls the bureau away to retrieve it and sees the hand that Rachel drew in her childhood years ago and is very sad.
A set of cards then inform us that Rachel’s story has touched “22 million hearts,” and advises that those who wish to “impact [the] world like Rachel” should text CHANGE to a shortcode.
Ah, there’s the grifting grab I was expecting. Told ya there’d be one.
FUCK. THIS. MOVIE.
And now we learn that the 13 tears she drew in her last journal entry was obviously her prophetic vision of the victims of the massacre. Thirteen tears; thirteen victims (not counting the killers themselves, obvs). OMG PROPHECY.
So That’s the Movie, Folks.
That’s it, that’s our movie. I’m Not Ashamed is about 2 hours of a very normal teen girl’s wangst and Jesus-posturing, ending with her brutal death at the hands of spree killers and a community aching to find some kind of meaning in it all. In between, almost nothing happens; she does a school play, she goes to Prom, she hangs out with Christians at a weird Bible study, she helps a homeless kid, she writes journal entries about how meaningless she feels her life is and how much she lurrrrves Jesus and totally can’t see her own future (OMG BECAUSE SHE DIES, GET IT?). It’s not so much a story as it is an adoration.
And I’ll tell ya what: this here dang ol’ movie demonstrates that Christians can turn absolutely anything into a proper conversion narrative. Rachel’s aching and yearning for meaning and purpose could be any kid’s story–it sure echoes my own youth–but in the hands of the greedy bloodsucking opportunists at PureFlix, it becomes a prophetic vision of sorts. Her journaling is presented as her tangible gift to the world. Her constant spoken desires to change the whole world are presented as the first steps of a modern saint’s life. I’m 99% sure that this movie really played up anything that’d tie into their presentation of Rachel as a poor widdle persecuted fundagelical who died because she just had so much faith in Jesus, and ignored anything else.
Look. Sometimes there just isn’t any meaning for terrible things. Sometimes it’s just as simple as a pair of really disturbed kids who wanted to hurt the world as much as they felt it’d hurt them. Making them into the end-product of evolutionism and atheism is an especially low blow; excluding that obviously-inserted bullshit wouldn’t have changed anything in the movie, but PureFlix is run by culture warriors so there’s gotta be that Godwin jab to make Christians nod smugly about how this wouldn’t have happened had those kids been properly indoctrinated with Creationism. People who are properly indoctrinated never, ever murder anyone. Unless they do, of course, but there are lots of ways to hand-wave away their religious leanings then. PureFlix would love to terrify Christians with visions of atheist spree killers drunk off the fumes of evolutionism murdering sweet little Christian tots, and it’s totally insulting.
Rachel Scott–and for that matter Cassie Bernall–are not modern Christian martyrs. Whatever one might say about the depth of their religious feelings, the people who killed them were far more angry at the jocks they saw as having bullied them than they were at Christians per se. The killers taunted their victims repeatedly and used against them whatever they treasured as an excuse to kill them: their victims’ affiliation with the jock crowd, their religious faith, their decision to study in the library, whatever seemed most obvious. They continued to taunt hiding kids long after they’d hurt the last victim. Rachel’s and Cassie’s deaths are tragic–as all such deaths are–and that’s more than enough for me. Turning them into martyrs simply cheapens the deaths of all the other kids who died that day. One might as well say that the jocks who died were martyrs to the Cult of Brodin or that Isaiah’s death makes him a martyr for black people generally. It’s a cheap and inexcusable grab for importance–and I have no doubt that a number of fundagelicals seeing this movie have used it to bolster their own erroneous opinions.
That’s what irks me the most. No god worth his or her salt would allow thirteen children and teachers to be murdered. Period. I don’t care how hard Christians try to square that circle. I really don’t. They can’t. This is the Problem of Evil in a nutshell, and this story shows that problem very clearly. PureFlix seems to be implying at the end that Rachel’s death was the impetus for her story to be so impactful, but no loving person would allow a child to die in terror and pain for any reason–especially not to further a fundagelical’s Dominionist goals. Ever. So I say one more time, with all the proper Queen’s English enunciation at my command that the actors in this movie completely lacked:
BTW, when Captain Cassidy says the myths rose quickly, they were very quick indeed. I was in college at the time and alt.atheism was a regular online hangout.
The very night of the massacre, the Christians, who came onto that newsgroup to practice incredibly amateur apologetics, claimed that the shooters were atheists motivated by atheism. The next day, a narratve of targeting Christians was put forth. Within the week, the claim of that scene of asking people if they’re Christian and killing those who said they were.
That was how fast it came up.
The Captain’s Scorecard.
Acting: eh, they’re mostly child actors, say 5/10
Teen wangst: -1000000000000000000/10
Moppet Selene: adorkable 90s distillation, would watch again but not in this movie
Adherence to actual facts: probably 2/10
HITLER WAS TOTALLY INTO EVOLUTION YOU GUIZE: -10/10
Forced Meaning: -10/10
FUCK THIS MOVIEs: 8-1/2 (not counting the outbursts as I stalked off for more of this watermelon stuff, which is really very good and I can’t imagine why the company doesn’t sell it regularly)
I’ma go shower now. What’d y’all think?