‘Life is long, and this is one event’: Films like Saint Frances are finally getting abortion right

As women’s reproductive rights remain under constant threat, Beth Webb speaks to actor and filmmaker Kelly O’Sullivan about the importance of showing abortions on-screen

Beth Webb
July 20, 2020

About 30 minutes into Chicago-set indie comedy Saint Frances, Kelly O’Sullivan’s Bridget undergoes a medical abortion. In-between forcefully vomiting and sitting uncomfortably on the toilet, the 34-year-old waitress spends the day in the arms of her lover, watching nature documentaries and reading chapters from Harry Potter.

“It was very important to me to have a sweet abortion montage,” says O’Sullivan – who drew on her own medical abortion for her screenwriting debut, which is out in the UK now – from her home in Chicago. “Women and girls walk away from watching abortions in film and TV feeling truly scared, and that might impact the way they think about making a choice like that for themselves in the future.”

Continued: https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/features/saint-frances-movie-abortion-kelly-o-sullivan-obvious-child-portrait-lady-on-fire-a9608341.html

India – Abortion is legal but coloured by prejudice: Malayalam short film ‘Aval’ shows you how

Abortion is legal but coloured by prejudice: Malayalam short film ‘Aval’ shows you how
The film is produced and co-written by a medical professional who says she has seen these violations happening for years.

Flix Cinema Monday, June 15, 2020 - 17:30
Sowmya Rajendran

Although India has fairly liberal laws when it comes to abortion, medical professionals are often hostile to women who approach them to get the procedure done. In cinema, too, abortion has been equated to murder far too many times. With the glorification of pregnancy and motherhood, this important reproductive right which gives women autonomy over their own bodies is demonised repeatedly.

A Malayalam short film called Aval, directed by Adarsh Kumar Aniyal (of Raven fame) and released on YouTube recently, presents the bitter truth about the issue. In the film, a young woman in an abusive marriage who did not want to keep her pregnancy, develops postpartum depression and ends up killing her child. Interestingly, the film has been produced and co-written by a medical professional, Dr Veena JS.

Continued: https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/abortion-legal-coloured-prejudice-malayalam-short-film-aval-shows-you-how-126592

Never Rarely Sometimes Always review – profoundly moving abortion drama

Never Rarely Sometimes Always review - profoundly moving abortion drama
Eliza Hittman’s coming-of-age story about a US teenager seeking a termination is heartbreaking and painfully authentic

Mark Kermode
Sun 10 May 2020

From Eliza Hittman, the remarkable writer-director of It Felt Like Love and Beach Rats, comes another drama that manages to blend the gritty authenticity of a documentary with the poetic sensibility of pure cinema. In her impressively measured and beautifully understated third feature, Hittman tells an oft-hidden story of reproductive rights – an age-old issue that has urgent contemporary relevance. Yet Never Rarely Sometimes Always never feels polemical. On the contrary, it is perhaps best described as a perfectly observed portrait of female friendship; a coming-of-age story with road-movie inflections, piercingly honest and deeply affecting.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2020/may/10/never-rarely-sometimes-always-review-profoundly-moving-abortion-drama-eliza-hittman-sidney-flanigan

USA – Seeing Abortion Laws From a Teenager’s Point of View

Seeing Abortion Laws From a Teenager’s Point of View
Eliza Hittman explains how she came to make her timely odyssey “Never Rarely Sometimes Always,” the unusual movie about abortion rights that makes bureaucracy the villain.

By Reggie Ugwu
April 3, 2020

Before writing her new movie, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always,” about the odyssey of a 17-year-old girl in present-day Pennsylvania seeking a legal abortion, the director Eliza Hittman embarked on a journey of her own. Hittman makes movies of quietly operatic intensity about vulnerable characters in unremarkable places. To find their narratives, she begins in the field, exploring prospective locations like a sculptor wandering a quarry.

Hittman, who is 40 and lives in Brooklyn, traveled by bus to a blue-collar town in Pennsylvania, where state law forbids minors from receiving an abortion without a parent’s consent. There, she toured so-called crisis pregnancy centers, which counsel against abortion regardless of circumstance, and posed as a woman who feared she might be pregnant and needed advice.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/03/movies/abortion-movie-director.html

“Never Rarely Sometimes Always,” Reviewed: Eliza Hittman’s Ingenious Portrait of the Bureaucracy of Abortion

“Never Rarely Sometimes Always,” Reviewed: Eliza Hittman’s Ingenious Portrait of the Bureaucracy of Abortion

By Richard Brody
March 12, 2020

With her third feature, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always,” the writer and director Eliza Hittman accomplishes something extraordinary: she expands her method and her style into a vision of the world. Her first feature, “It Felt Like Love,” from 2013, centered on a teen-age girl in a Brooklyn community that Hittman knows well, and extended the tendrils of the protagonist’s dramatic experience into the broader life of the neighborhood. In her second feature, “Beach Rats” (2017), she did something similar and carried it further, scratching and scraping the surface of social connections to reveal the passions and prejudices underlying it. Now, in her new feature, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”—a stark and harrowing story of a teen-ager’s quest to get an abortion—Hittman creates an intimate drama that’s also a story of the social fabric and, in particular, its bureaucratic abstractions and administrative minefields.

Continued: https://www.newyorker.com/culture/the-front-row/never-rarely-sometimes-always-reviewed-eliza-hittmans-ingenious-portrait-of-the-bureaucracy-of-abortion

USA – New film shows harsh realities of abortion restrictions

New film shows harsh realities of abortion restrictions

March 11, 2020
Carla Hay

There have been several movies about abortion, but none quite like Never Rarely Sometimes Always. That’s because this compelling dramatic film, written and directed by Eliza Hittman, takes an unflinching look at the harsh realities of what a 17-year-old in rural Pennsylvania has to go through to get an abortion for an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy. The teenager at the center of the story is a fictional character named Autumn Gallagher (played by Sidney Flanigan), but the obstacles and emotional journey that Autumn experiences are very real for anyone who’s been through a similar situation.

Focus Features will release Never Rarely Sometimes Always in select U.S. theaters on March 13. It has already won prestigious awards, including the Silver Bear (second-place prize) at the 2020 Berlin International Film Festival and the Special Jury Award for Neorealism at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.

Continued: https://womensmediacenter.com/news-features/new-film-shows-harsh-realities-of-abortion-restrictions

Argentine filmmaker throws spotlight on abortion amid legalization push

Argentine filmmaker throws spotlight on abortion amid legalization push

Updated: March 6, 2020

BUENOS AIRES — Amid a renewed push in Argentina to legalize abortion, filmmaker Andrea Testa hopes to spotlight the plight of young women in a country where campaigners say that every three hours a girl between 10 to 14 years old gives birth.

Testa’s new documentary, “Girl Mother,” follows women from socially vulnerable backgrounds who are forced to have children under Argentine law where abortion is illegal, except in cases of rape and when there is danger to life or health.

Continued: https://o.canada.com/pmn/entertainment-pmn/argentine-filmmaker-throws-spotlight-on-abortion-amid-legalization-push/wcm/c64f5281-ec9d-42c4-8bf6-65794e0473ce

USA – ‘Reversing Roe’ Review: Netflix Documentary Condemns the Politicization of Abortion — Telluride

‘Reversing Roe’ Review: Netflix Documentary Condemns the Politicization of Abortion — Telluride
Ricki Stern and Anne Sundberg’s Netflix documentary unpacks the process by which abortion grew from a personal issue to a political one.

David Ehrlich
Sep 1, 2018

Like any abortion documentary worth the time to watch, Ricki Stern and Anne Sundberg’s “Reversing Roe” doesn’t explicitly argue for or against a woman’s right to choose. And while there’s little doubt that Stern and Sundberg could make a persuasive case for reproductive rights, as several interview subjects do, it’s only so valuable to preach to the choir — especially when a film is released into the apolitical cyberspace of Netflix rather than a handful of arthouse theaters in America’s largest and most liberal cities.

Ultimately, “Reversing Roe” is a productive contribution to its ever-growing genre because it sharply dissects the process by which abortion soured from a private medical issue to a public political one.

Continued: https://www.indiewire.com/2018/09/reversing-roe-review-netflix-documentary-1201999510/