Necerato’s background in Christian ministry began informally through evangelism in 2001. He dove into street preaching and found himself facing opposition from those who didn’t believe in Jesus… and those who did. He’s been street preaching in Point Pleasant, New Jersey, for years, but he began to investigate the right and wrong ways to share his faith.
“I made the Go Stand Speak documentary in 2008 with the Apologetics Group,” Necerato remembered. “It made a little impact so we ended up making A Day in the Life as a follow-up. What was the Biblical and historical background for street preaching? Was there a way to not be the stereotypical guy standing on the street corner shouting “turn or burn”?”
“I’m an activist at heart, so it made sense to take the next step, making a narrative feature film that addressed an egregious sin of our nation, abortion, with a view of church on the street. I think the church needs to be reminded that we’re not just to wait for the rapture, that the Bible says very little about heaven, but a lot about how we’re supposed to relate to other people.”
In his film, Necerato used a war veteran to highlight one of the themes of taking a stand that he wanted to emphasize. It’s clear that the film has Christian imagery - some scenes even take place in a church - but there’s little sermonizing, as the emphasis is on faith in action. “I wanted the underlying theme to be fighting things,” Necerato shared. “I wanted Jesse to react the way he did, as a member of the 82nd Airborne Division and a boxer, with anger issues. But here’s this guy who is a fighter and he’s afraid to take a stand against the abortion clinic across the street? He has to figure out his past and character as he’s taking a stand.”
“Soldiers are off fighting in war, even killing when necessary. But abortion requires us to stand up and protect life. Do not kill presupposes protection of life.”
Shooting in northeast Philadelphia, Necerato cast a host of characters who are multiethnic and realistic to the location. As the director, he purposely chose to show that abortion is an issue that everyone faces across racial lines, purposefully making it more than a Black Lives Matter campaign. But he was clear that abortion plagues lower class communities, even when it’s not the locals using the abortion clinics.
“I’m from Trenton, NJ, so we see people from outside, from well-off areas, who come to the low income places to try and hide what they’re doing. The film’s stories aren’t taken from real people, but they show my real life experience hearing people’s stories.”
Necerato shared how the redemptive story arc shows forgiveness for those who have participated in an abortion, and how dealing with the past is therapeutic. The writer/director wants people to see God’s grace, and experience it in a way that forces them to move.
“My favorite line in the whole film is ‘God saved us for the world, not from the world,’” he said. “God didn’t save us for afterlife but to be part of God’s redemptive plan, in every aspect of our lives. This country is oversaturated with heaven, but the gospel is really a royal announcement about Jesus coming as king. This movie is about taking a stand.”
“Wherever God has put you, you can be effective. It’s like I Corinthians 15:58 says, ‘Stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.’”
Necerato’s film challenges us to ask whether we’re really engaged by the gospel of Jesus Christ. The litmus test? If you’ve bought in, then Voiceless will demand you to move, and take a stand.