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The Helena Arkansas Daily World - Helena, AR
  • Kent Bush: 'October Baby' - tale of abortion survival reveals value of every life

  • "October Baby" is a film that touches on a hot-button issue by focusing on a group of people touched by abortion that few people know about – abortion survivors. The movie's main character is Hannah, played by Rachel Hendrix. Due to a medical issue, she discovers she was adopted as an infant after surviving her mother’s attempt to abort her.

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  • A movie ticket is a vote.
    Jon Erwin, the director of "October Baby" – a movie that opens on about 400 screens Friday – said he has been humbled by the support this movie has received.
    “This is a chance for people to stand together and say with one big voice that every life is valuable,” Erwin said.
    Erwin got his start behind the camera filming sports and working on music videos. He often directs with his brother Andy. This is their first feature film together.
    "October Baby" is a film that touches on a hot-button issue by focusing on a group of people touched by abortion that few people know about – abortion survivors. The movie's main character is Hannah, played by Rachel Hendrix. Due to a medical issue, she discovers she was adopted as an infant after surviving her mother’s attempt to abort her.
    The movie follows Hannah as the truth of her existence unfolds and she endures the pain of discovery and the joy of forgiveness.
    “We go to movies to be entertained,” Erwin said. “When people see 'October Baby' I want them to laugh, cry and experience the story.”
    Erwin said he was raised a Christian and had always had pro-life beliefs.
    “I was a pro-life pacifist,” Erwin said. “But I was shattered by the reality of the existence of abortion survivors. There was no going back after being exposed to the truth of this story.”
    But he knew that a documentary about this topic would be almost impossible to film and hard to watch. After working with Stephen and Alex Kendrick during the production of "Courageous," Erwin learned that the message could be delivered through an entertaining medium.
    He acknowledges that the movie has a message, but he denies that it is preachy or based on a political agenda.
    “This is bigger than a political issue,” Erwin said. “It is a human issue. I have been surprised by the level of controversy about this film. 'October Baby' is a celebration of the value of life.”
    Erwin said the intended audience for the film was originally young girls but that the audience grew as the story unfolded.
    “There are so many angles and points of interest in the film,” he said. “I don’t think there is anyone who can’t find something to enjoy about the film.”
    "October Baby" crosses typical barriers. It isn’t a movie for kids or adults or men or women.
    “Sometimes entertainment separates the family,” Erwin said. “I wanted to make this movie to help bring families together.”
    Obviously, the subject matter in the film will probably lead to some pretty serious discussions among those who see it.
    Page 2 of 2 - “The movie doesn’t tell you what to think or feel,” Erwin said. “It tells an important story about the beauty of life and the value of forgiveness.”
    "October Baby" stars newcomer Rachel Hendrix as Hannah and features John Schneider ("Smallville," "The Dukes of Hazzard") and Jasmine Guy ("A Different World"), along with Jason Burkey and "American Idol" finalist Chris Sligh in his feature film debut. It earned the Grand Jury Prize as the Best Fiction Feature at the 2011 Red Rock Film Festival, with Hendrix claiming the Special Achievement Award for Acting.
    Erwin said they had only raised enough money to open on about 300 screens this weekend. However, local “action squads” have worked with theaters to get the film on an additional 100 screens.
    Kent Bush is publisher of the Augusta (Kan.) Gazette.
     
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