“I’m Not Ashamed” is the story of Rachel Joy Scott, the first student killed in the Columbine school shooting in April of 1999. The movie follows Rachel from age eight, and up until April 20th, 1999 when, then aged 17, she and twelve others were gunned down by two gunmen. We get a glimpse of who Rachel really was. She had struggles just like the rest of us. Her parents went through a divorce and she dealt with the pressures of trying to fit in at her high school. Rachel never let that get the best of her. She kept strong in her faith, even if it was difficult. She had a budding passion for drama and ultimately, a passion for people. This is a tragic story, but the hope is in the fact that Rachel Joy Scott lives on through the impact she had on those who knew her and the journal she carried.
The film is good, but not great. The writing is weak in some areas and the flow isn’t always smooth in Rachel’s growth as a character. The performances are lacking a bit, too. Masey McLain, who played Rachel comes on a bit too strong. Nathan, played by Ben Davies is a likable character, but seems restrained in a scene or two. The strongest chops are from Emma Elle Roberts, who played Celine, a friend of Rachel’s. The story of Rachel Joy Scott is a powerful one, though and the camera work helps drive that home.
“I’m Not Ashamed” is a movie that can speak to a lot of people. Unfortunately, it doesn’t reach its full potential. There is promise, but it becomes too preachy at times. This is a good movie, but it could have been better. That said, you will be moved. “I’m Not Ashamed” gets 2 stars/4.