WEATHER »
<em>To Save a Life</em>

To Save a Life


To Save a Life

Randy Wayne, Deja Kreutzberg, and Joshua Weigel star in a film written by Jim Britts and directed by Brian Baugh.


From outward descriptions, and many of its inward details, the film To Save a Life might seem fraught with diluting elements, cinematically speaking. A sometimes sappy slice-of-teen-life tale, which was Christian-funded and partly evangelically themed, Life is not a movie that falls comfortably into the often cynical landscape of Hollywood teen cinema. With all that said, however, To Save a Life is a surprisingly moving event. It winds up being a realistic and earnest look at adolescent angst, teen suicide, and other youthful struggles and proposes alternatives without that preachy aftertaste.

The story opens with the funeral of an African-American teen, a victim of ostracism and the lurking cruelty of the high school environment. Our handsome young protagonist (Randy Wayne), grappling with his own love troubles with his girlfriend (Deja Kreutzberg) and urged by guilt and compassion for his school’s pariahs, has a transformation of conscience—which includes the makings of a spiritual awakening. Writer Jim Britts and director Brian Baugh seem to carefully walk a line, generally erring on the side of subtlety, even while soft-selling a religious angle and touching on failings and hypocrisies within the church.

More importantly, in a way, the filmmakers address the fragile state of adolescent life. They also deal with the volatile post-Columbine atmosphere in American high schools—and in a very different way than Gus Van Sant’s Elephant. To Save a Life dares to wear heart on sleeve while taking aim at nothing short of youth-oriented life-affirmation.

For showtimes, check the Independent's movie listings, here.

To submit a comment on this article, email letters@independent.com or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email tips@independent.com.



Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

School Shooting Threat to Santa Maria Schools Made via Facebook

Further investigation revealed that suspect did not have access to firearms.

Celebration of Life Ceremony Scheduled for Mark “Marky” Meza, Jr.

The 21-year-old former Carpinteria resident was killed in the Borderline shooting.

Jennifer Doudna Talks Gene Editing

She's confident the controversial technology will be used for good.

Phone Scammers Target Businesses

Pretend to have a delivery that just needs some cash or a wire transfer.

Former Ataris Bassist Pleads Guilty to Real Estate Scam

Michael Davenport faces up to 30 years in prison.