You know how we live these quiet, normal lives and we have things we believe and then something bad happens and we doubt everything?
Or is that just me?
And you know how we make mistakes but we get through them and we’re better people and then something bad happens and we’re thrown right back into our worst-selves and you realize you’re not over anything?
Voiceless brings us to a rough area of Philadelphia where Jesse and Julia move for Jesse’s new job at a church. At first everything seems normal—they go to work, they do their jobs, they live their lives. But then something happens and we learn perhaps Jesse and Julia aren’t doing as well as we thought.
Near the church is a women’s clinic, which performs abortions. Jesse feels compelled to visit and witnesses a protester outside the building. He watches the crowd yell insults and abuse at the protester and something changes inside Jesse. He visits the clinic more and more and finds himself in confrontations with clinic staff, pregnant teens, and passersby. The church doesn’t approve of Jesse’s apparent political swing. His wife can’t understand what has got into him. Jesse faces opposition on all sides yet continues visiting the clinic.
Through the film you witness the struggle of a man who thought he had dealt with his past but must face it again. You see a man wrestle with his faith, violent tendencies, demons from his past, and unresolved trauma. You see a couple forced to face their issues, buried deep down. Through Voiceless you are taken on a journey where you learn to follow your gut even if it’s dangerous, stand up for what you believe even if no one stands with you, and to tell the truth even when you’re scared.
On the surface this is a faith-based movie with a pro-life slant but I think if you look deeper it is a movie challenging you to confront the things you’d rather avoid, to let yourself feel and hurt, and to be brave no matter what.
This film made me think and I’m glad for it. It was ambitious and tried to accomplish many layers of plot and character development, which left me a bit confused, but overall I appreciated the journey. Voiceless is not a stereotypical faith-based pro-life rah rah experience. It goes deeper, it shows you life happens to everyone (even Christians), and we all have skeletons in our closets.
The sooner we realize we’re just like everyone else, the sooner we can accept others as they are and start helping people.
Jesse Dean is a recently discharged soldier who had a rough upbringing, but because of his wife, found God and now is totally devoted to his faith.
He and wife move to Philadelphia so he can take a new job as an outreach leader at an old church whose membership has been declining. As everything is going well and as he starts connecting to the community, he discovers there’s an abortion clinic directly across the street from the church.
He goes to the pastor and to several others in the church and tries to get their help to no avail. One day something tragic and personal happens to him while he’s going about his everyday routine. He comes to the point that he begins to take action himself. He gets involved but the more involved he gets, the more resistance he gets from those in church and community. His wife, who thinks his actions will get him fired or land him in jail, also comes against him.
Finally, it comes down to him having to make a choice: is he going to take the easy way out and back off, which is what everyone wants him to do, or will he face a major confrontation which will require him to put everything on the line…not just his job, but his freedom and marriage as well.
This film encourages people to stand up for what they know is right, particularly as it pertains to taking God’s truths into society to address social issues. It addresses the spirit of retreat as it pertains to engaging the culture that has developed within the Church.