Reviewed by: Ken James
Starring: Keith Phillps, Stephanie Strouss, Derek Cecil | Directed by: James Likens | Produced by: Bart Patton | Written by: James Likens
Films promoting abstinence and the pro-life agenda can be rare. That’s why Life: It’s a Class Project is a great find for pro-life groups who want a thought-provoking well-acted Christian drama that brings up such important themes as God and His creation, God’s intention in the gift of sexuality, sin, second chances, and euthanasia.
Eli Salem isn’t your average biology teacher. He’s a bit of an eccentric—a genius really. He’s created 2 dozen or so computerized “children” that he intends to assign to each student in his class as their own to care for. Similar to the real-life projects that many students have had in caring for “babies” of all sorts (some use eggs, special dolls, or even furbies), Eli intends to teach his students the value of what it means to care for precious life. The film tagline says: “What if God taught biology?” And so as the drama unfolds, we learn a bit of what God must feel like as he looks at his human children here on Earth.
The conflict in this story focuses on Emily Watson, a 17-year-old junior at Eden High School. She and Jason McKinley, a brooding guy with a difficult past, are sexually active. Neither of the two are interested in their teacher’s experiment since it hits too close to home. The story that unfolds brings some twists and turns, making the study guide that’s included with this video an important ingredient to bringing the most effectiveness during group discussion.
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod produced this film. There are numerous branches to the Lutheran Church, some more liberal than others on current issues facing the church. The LCMS is among the more conservative, and it shows in this quality production. I’m not sure I agree with their final conclusion on euthanasia (this film teaches that it is wrong to “pull the plug” since that is God’s decision to give and take life, yet if it is man’s machinery artificially sustaining life anyway the argument can be made for the cessation of that life support). Overall, though, I appreciated this thoughtful approach and recommend it to students, parents, church leaders, and community officials.
Learn more about this film at TheLifeProject.com. Be sure to also visit our “Sex, Love and Relationships” Web site for many more questions and answers on sexuality, as well as our “Life Before Birth” pro-life Web site.