Saturday, July 28, 2007
Five Movies about Abortion
In response to the recent controversy over films such as Knocked Up and Waitress, which appear to avoid discussing abortion, here is a list of five movies that do provide a serious commentary on abortion rights.
1. The Cider House Rules (1999)
Adapted from John Irving's novel of the same name, The Cider House Rules tells the story of Homer (Tobey McGuire), an orphan who receives medical training from an abortionist doctor. Homer, who is at first solidly pro-life, is thrown into circumstances that force him to reconsider this stance.
2. If These Walls Could Talk (1996)
Originally made for TV and broadcast on HBO, If These Walls Could Talk follows the stories of three women in different time periods, each deciding whether or not to have an abortion. The segments are set in 1952, 1974, and 1996, and each focus on the social attitudes toward abortion dominant at the time.
3. Vera Drake (2004)
Vera Drake tells the story of a British woman in the 1950's (Imedla Staunton) who is a devoted wife and mother, works as a house cleaner, and secretly performs back-room abortions. The film focuses on issues related to social class, because at the time, although abortion was illegal, upper-class women could obtain abortions if they obtained costly psychiatrists' opinions that they were unfit for pregnancy.
4. Citizen Ruth (1996)
Citizen Ruth is a satirical movie about an irresponsible pregnant woman (Laura Dern) who becomes the center of a political debate about the legality of abortion. Both pro-choice and pro-life lobbyists attempt to convince her to side with them by offering progressively larger and larger sums of money.
5. 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days (2007)
Winner of the Palme d'Or at the 2007 Cannes Film festival, Romanian film 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days is the story of two roommates trying to arrange an illegal abortion during the communist regime of the late 1980s. The film is based on a true story that had haunted the director.