The road to redemption requires sacrifice and work. It also requires someone to be passionate enough to take action. “Firelight”, the latest “Hallmark Hall of Fame” movie, airs this Sunday April 22, at 9 p.m. on ABC. It is about a volunteer teen fire-fighting crew, “Crew 9”, at a female-detention facility.
Cuba Gooding Jr. stars as Dwayne Johnson, the youth counselor who manages the crew, and Q’Orianka Kilchner is Caroline Magabo. Caroline is a young girl arrested because of her involvement with a boyfriend. This boyfriend takes advantage of her being a minor and sets her up to take the fall.
There are some great moments that speak about making the right decisions. Lighia Villalobos, who wrote “Under the Same Moon”, has an eye for decisive moments. She is clear on those connective experiences that inspire solidarity within teens and inspire their decisions–good or bad. Caroline finds herself having to make decisions that can make her more vulnerable, and the actress, Kilchner, provides the emotional vehicle and strength for these moments to resonate.
It was difficult to detach from this film when I know many students I work with are surrounded by these choices, and many of them do not have a “DJ” to prod and push them along to a better path. Also, it is difficult to make a positive film exciting, but the audience shed tears.
There are two great messages for two different audiences. For the adults, DJ speaks volumes about the need to get involved, to take action, and to not give up on these teens. For the teens, watch the company you keep and do not give up.