Greece – An Abortion Hidden from Parental View in “Memoir of a Veering Storm”

In Sofia Georgovassili’s short film, drawn from life, a teen-ager and her friends go on a pivotal excursion in the course of a school day.

Film by Sofia Georgovassili
Text by Helena Ong
February 17, 2023
Film: 13:48 minutes

[From YouTube description]  It is a morning in September and a storm is coming. A mother takes her daughter to school in the morning, unaware that she will be a young woman when she comes back home in the evening. Fifteen-year-old Anna sneaks out of school and goes to a hospital. There, she is faced with an event that will close the door on her childhood forever.

What happens to a young woman’s psyche when she experiences an abortion while all surrounding social structures see her as a child? Greek director Sofia Georgovassili’s melancholy short film, which has screened at many festivals including the Berlinale Generation competition, reveals the world that the film’s protagonist is confronted with through minute details, touches, light pulsations, and mythology.

Film available at:

Why authentic abortion stories in TV and film are a sign of the times in post-Roe era

Hollywood has rich history of abortion storytelling, according to researcher

Jenna Benchetrit · CBC News
Aug 06, 2022

In 2004, a Canadian TV show made headlines for a controversial episode in which a pregnant teenage girl decides, much to her boyfriend's distress, to get an abortion. Her mother drives her to the clinic.

Yes, it was Degrassi: The Next Generation — and the infamous episode, entitled Accidents Will Happen, was postponed for American viewers after a U.S. cable channel decided to pull it before it could air.


How abortion storylines in film and TV have evolved in recent years

by Scottie Andrew, CNN
Thu June 2, 2022

(CNN) During the making of "Obvious Child," director/screenwriter Gillian Robespierre had a few balls in the air.

Would Jenny Slate's Donna, a fledgling stand-up comedian with a penchant for potty humor, end up with Jake Lacy's buttoned-up Max? And would Robespierre find investors who'd trust her to make the movie she wanted as a first-time filmmaker?

‘Silence guarantees nothing will change’: film-makers challenge the anti-abortion movement

Audrey Diwan’s 1960s-set drama Happening is the latest in a wave of films on an issue that is increasingly topical

Rachel Pronger
Fri 22 Apr 2022

When Audrey Diwan first started writing a script about abortion, people would ask her why. Adapting Annie Ernaux’s memoir about the author’s struggle to obtain an illegal abortion as a student in 1960s France, Diwan knew the story was important, but it was difficult to persuade others of its relevance. Fast forward a few years, and no one is asking why. When Happening premiered at the Venice film festival last year, critics were quick to draw connections between the plight of Anne (the character in the film) and the tightening of abortion restrictions around the world. As it lands in UK cinemas this week, this period piece feels timelier than ever.


An Abortion Film That’s Both Topical and Timeless

In the Sundance drama Happening, the hardest part of one woman’s unwanted pregnancy is managing everyone else’s expectations.

By Shirley Li
FEBRUARY 7, 2022

Anne Duchesne, the hero of the film Happening, is an intelligent and serious 23-year-old woman who knows what she wants. It’s 1963 in southwest France, and if her leering university classmates judge her, the daughter of a working-class family, for her literary ambitions and for hooking up with local men, so be it. Played by Anamaria Vartolomei, Anne is economical with her words and her friendships. She rarely switches up her wardrobe or hairstyle. And when she learns that she’s pregnant, she immediately asks her doctor to terminate it. “I’d like a child one day,” she says later, “but not instead of a life.”

Based on the acclaimed author Annie Ernaux’s semi-autobiographical novel, Happening follows Anne as she seeks an illegal abortion. The director, Audrey Diwan, doesn’t indulge in melodrama; she takes a measured and minimalist approach to the story, immersing the audience in Anne’s perspective.


Women Filmmakers at Sundance: Don’t Touch My Abortion

Sundance 2022: the films are reminding us what it was like when women did not have the right to choose

January 23, 2022

The women at Sundance are screaming at the tops of their lungs. They are saying: Why are you taking our rights away? Why are you turning the clock back 50 years?

As Roe v. Wade hits its 49-year anniversary this weekend with a near-assurance that it will never reach the 50-year landmark, multiple films at the Sundance Film Festival are reminding us what it was like when women did not have the right to choose an abortion.


How Representation In Media Shapes The Public Opinion On Abortion

By Nayla Khwaja
September 22, 2021

The mass media plays an integral part in providing context for public opinion. Newspapers, articles, magazines, cinema, television, etc. may offer a discursive space in which readers can converse with an ‘imagined community.’ At the same time, misrepresentations lead to confused narratives and distorted opinions that could further lead to discreditations.

As we know, the mainstream media reporting around abortion is often unhealthy and the media gatekeeping around the whole phenomena narrows it down to a noxious narrative for abortion seekers. This largely affects the opinion of the masses and put abortion seekers in negative light which furthers the possibilities of prejudice, otherisation or discrimination against them.


French film on illegal abortion wins top prize at Venice festival

By Silvia Aloisi, Reuters
Sep 11, 2021

VENICE (Reuters) -"Happening" (L'événement), a hard-hitting French drama about illegal abortion in the 1960s, won the Golden Lion award for best film at the Venice festival on Saturday.

The film, by director Audrey Diwan, wowed viewers on the Lido waterfront with its portrayal of a young woman desperate to arrange a termination, at a time when it could mean a prison term or death, to continue with her studies.


France – Audrey Diwan aims for glory in Venice with portrayal of clandestine abortion

September 6, 2021

Italy, Sep 6 (EFE).- French-Lebanese director Audrey Diwan has caused a stir
with her immersive and visceral adaptation of L’événement, a novel through
which writer Annie Ernaux narrates her own secret abortion back in the 1960s.

The film puts the viewer in the shoes of the protagonist – played by the
French-Romanian actress Anamaria Vartolomei – while stressing the political
dimension of the original novel.


Set in Chad, Cannes film ‘Lingui’ explores abortion struggles

July 9, 2021

CANNES, France, July 9 (Reuters) - The director behind "Lingui", a Cannes Film Festival entry about a teenager's battle in Chad to get an abortion, said on Friday he hoped the story would resonate well beyond the African country, including in places like the United States where there are vocal anti-abortion movements.

Mahamet-Saleh Haroun said he was inspired to explore the issue after reading stories about babies abandoned or killed by their young mothers in Chad, where abortion is only allowed in specific cases where a woman's life is in danger.