What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Finding Faith is a Christian film depicting the real-life events of the kidnapping of a teenage girl who was selected online by a man posing as a boy her age and who intended to sell her into the sex-trafficking industry. It follows her kidnapping, her captivity over three days, and the eventual outcome of her ordeal. Though there is little explicit violence and almost no bloodshed or graphic scenes, it has a high level of consistent peril and mature themes, particularly concerning the kidnapping and selling of teenage girls into the sex-trafficking industry. Best for older kids ready for serious discussions about online safety.
What's the story?
When Faith Garrett (Stephanie Bettcher) meets a cute boy online named Eddie Blue, she's flattered that someone in Florida who seems so much more mature than boys her age is interested in her. At first, their interactions seem harmless on social media, but when Faith is kidnapped by a child predator, the ordeal tests her community from all sides -- her family, her church, and Sheriff Brown (Erik Estrada).
Is it any good?
FINDING FAITH is not a particularly great movie in the traditional sense, but it has a message that aims to educate families about the real risks of online predators in a way that's less fear-based and hyperbolic than the typical Hollywood dramatization might. It's an openly faith-based film, but many of the lessons are useful even if your family prefers the secular community. It demonstrates that online predators can pose as cute 16-year-old boys, that teenage girls are the most vulnerable target, and that sex trafficking is not a terrible tragedy that only happens in distant, far-flung countries but a problem right here. Moreover, here we have a teen girl who is not from an at-risk family but rather from an engaged, church-going family and who has good grades, excellent friends, and engaging extracurricular activities -- all things we might assume are buffers from vulnerability but are not enough without a solid understanding of the online landscape today.
It's probably not a first choice for a Friday night family movie, but for kids of a certain age, and parents looking to engage about online safety, it can be a more moderate way to start the conversation, as it's drawn from a real-life story and not a Hollywood script.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about online safety. What are some things you can do to be sure you can trust the people you share information with online? What do you do to stay safe when you use the computer? Read online about the realities of child predators as well as safety precautions you can take at home.
How does this movie compare to other depictions of child predators online that you've seen? Is it realistic? How so, or why not?
What were some of the positive things that came out of this ordeal for Faith, her family, and her community?