Thanks to a media advisory sent out by First Run Features at the beginning of this month, regarding the murder of Dr. George Tiller, a 2007 documentary that had somehow escaped TrustMovies' attention has suddenly come back into very sharp focus. Dr. Tiller, having performed abortions for decades, has been a verbal -- and now, unfortunately, otherwise -- target for many disciples of the pro-life movement. In Stephen Fell's and Will Thompson's exceptional film UNBORN IN THE USA, Dr. Tiller is seen briefly and talked about -- the film was made several years ago and released theatrically in 2007 -- but anyone who watches (and listens) to the movie will be made aware of how unsurprising this murder really is.
What these two documentarians do -- and it's a risky move -- is to allow the pro-life movement to speak for itself. Fell & Thompson don't editorialize and, in fact, seldom disagree or ask particularly hard-hitting questions. (They do, smartly, allow a couple of the "uneasy" pro-lifers to question their own group's attitudes and maneuvers.) This means that those of us on the pro-choice side must sit in front of our DVD screens as we are preached to, sometimes quite honestly and movingly, about the importance of stopping abortion. This forces us to think and rethink our own beliefs, and to sometimes argue aloud at the screen, as these Christian fundamentalists air their views. The single time that the movie-makers halt the proceedings to call attention to the untruth of what someone is saying happens when an angry woman (shown below) bares her missing breasts to a crowd of pro-life protesters and blames her cancer on the fact that she had an abortion. It's then that Fell & Thompson tell us firmly that no real evidence has been found to link breast cancer with abortion.
Unborn in the USA is available for sale from First Run Features and for rent via your usual channels. All photos -- and poster -- above are from the film.