I was happy to hear that this Christmas a movie that exudes the beauty of all human life is being released in select theaters across the country. Yellow Day, a film that is part-animation, part-live action, conveys the stories of young people who found healing at Camp Grace, a place where miracles occur (especially on what is called “The Yellow Day”).
Yellow Day follows the story of a young man who has a chance meeting with an intriguing girl. During their fleeting encounter, the girl speaks of a place that changed her life – Camp Grace. Once parted, the young man looks for the girl that he found so captivating and gradually learns more about the challenges life has thrown her way and how she has found joy amidst the dark moments of her life.
I had the opportunity to speak to Yellow Day writer and Producer Jeff Galle who shared that he has been heavily influenced by Saint John Paul II’s philosophy on the culture of life. Galle explained that the Pontiff’s profound views on human dignity and value had a huge impact on the creation of the film.
The movie—which was produced to provoke conversations between parents and their kids—doesn’t angrily debate or push an agenda. Instead, it spreads the culture of life in the best way possible: showing the love of life that these campers have, whether they are healthy or disabled, from a loving home or a neglectful one.
Lately, coverage of hot button issues of our day only seems to polarize people further. It is our responsibility to communicate the Truth, but how we do this is also important. Films have a rich capacity to convey truth in a way that is extremely effective—that is, through narrative. It is heartening to see efforts like Yellow Day, wherein people whom the world might cast off (or abort), were shown to lead full lives, wherein they recognized their struggles and past hurts and chose to embrace what the film calls “the light”, also known as a life of faith and joy.
While the film can be lighthearted and fun at times, as well as visually creative, Galle emphasizes that it isn’t all meant to be “Candyland”. He acknowledges that he is asking audiences to grapple with some tough issues, “It deals with real issues of life and death, and confronts them pretty bluntly. But it is also safe. Things like death, abuse, cancer, and special needs can be tough issues to discuss. A parent can go through this movie scene by scene and really talk with their kids about each element. They can also go through some pretty hefty theology, and also talk about what real romance and love is.”
Efforts like this help to round out a pro-life education that children should be learning from many sources. Children receive the witness and wisdom of their parents, their faith education and hopefully many other pieces of information, as well as their own experiences, that point to the fact that each life has dignity and value “from conception to natural death.” In the midst of a culture wherein anti-life messages are widely accepted—from social media to television shows to biased news articles—children need as many opportunities as they can get to see that God loves each one of us and has a plan for everyone’s life, especially those who are considered “less than” by others.
It is, of course, appropriate that a film that conveys the “light” of grace that is present within each of us from the moment we were created is being released on the day that the Light of the World was born in a manger in Bethlehem. This Christmas, I pray with a renewed intensity that we might communicate the splendor of all human life through our own lives, how we treat others and how we convey this Gospel of Life to the world.
Find out more about Yellow Day at http://yellowdaymovie.com/
About the author: Caitlin Bootsma is the editor of Human Life International’s Truth and Charity Forum. Mrs. Bootsma received a Licentiate in Catholic Social Communications at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome as well as a Master’s of Systematic Theology from Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College. She lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband and two sons.