Slog News & Arts

Line Out

Music & Nightlife

« Shooting Outside Tommy's in U-... | The Morning News »

Friday, June 22, 2007

Lake of Fire

posted by on June 22 at 8:39 AM

Did anyone catch the new documentary about abortion in American—Lake of Fire—at SIFF? Over at Kos, Frederick Clarkson worries that the film may alter the abortion debate in America—and not in favor of pro-choice candidates.

I have been following the film’s progress in part because I am in it (as a talking head), and in part because I believe the film is a wildcard in the politics of abortion as we go into the 2008 election season. The 2 1/2-hour films takes a stark look at all sides of the issue, and includes actual footage of abortion procedures that Tony Kaye, the director filmed himself, and jail house interviews with convicted murderers of doctors who have performed abortions — and much, much more….

One antiabortion leader is already freaked out about it, and I imagine that there will be people in all camps who will also be variously freaked-out, in part because control of the debate may slip away.

Did anyone see it at SIFF? Any thoughts?

RSS icon Comments


I haven't seen the film and am firmly pro-choice, but worrying that what sounds like an even-handed, thorough treatment of the issue will be bad for "our" side is pretty sad . . . do we really want to "win" the debate because no one's seen what an abortion procedure actually looks like? Shouldn't we be less worried about controlling the debate, and more worried about presenting our side of things in a rational, compassionate manner?

Posted by Levislade | June 22, 2007 8:54 AM

Do baby lions perform the abortions?

Posted by Mr. Poe | June 22, 2007 9:02 AM


only if it's Satan Spawn

Posted by griff | June 22, 2007 9:11 AM


Posted by Mr. Poe | June 22, 2007 9:18 AM

For fuck's sake. I hate this country sometimes. An appendectomy ain't pretty. Are we gonna ban those too?

Posted by Gitai | June 22, 2007 9:30 AM

You don't have to be a fundie to think that a fetus has a little more moral content than an appendix.

Posted by MHD | June 22, 2007 9:35 AM

I did see the film and yeah, if they play the movie in the right places it will change the position of those middle of the road people. I would be concerned if the film gets released to the mainstream. I would be very worried.

Posted by Just Me | June 22, 2007 9:55 AM

@6 No doubt, but if we're relying strictly on an "ick factor" to make our moral decisions, we're a stupid, stupid country. "Wow, I really don't think 13 year old girls should be forced to bear their own siblings, but you know, abortion is a surgical procedure, and that involves blood and stuff, so you better figure out if you want that kid to call you 'mom' or 'sis' now."

Posted by Gitai | June 22, 2007 10:15 AM

"I imagine that there will be people in all camps who will also be variously freaked-out, in part because control of the debate may slip away."

I don't know if "all camps" are "freaked out" because the film is unbiased (is that possible, context given?) or just internally inconsistent in its bias. Either way, though: This feels like a really sinister reason to oppose distribution of a film. Doesn't it?

Oppose poor reasoning, or oppose selectively moral/ethical treatment of a subject, or oppose the use of emotional appeals to circumvent fact. Don't oppose access to information because you're afraid of loss of control on the debate, though. Just don't.

(Unrelated: That "Killer of Sheep" banner ad is scary as hell.)

Posted by Christin | June 22, 2007 10:18 AM

@9 - exactly. Isn't this something right-wing loonies would worry about? ("Oh no, if they see this balanced documentary showing that gay couples' families are perfectly normal, support for our bigotry might slip!") I like to think we're better than that.

Posted by Levislade | June 22, 2007 10:22 AM

I think any documentary that encourages people--whether pro-choice or pro-life--to consider the moral ambiguities involved in such a difficult issue as abortion is a good thing. I hate that abortion has to be a black-or-white issue. There's a vast spectrum of beliefs, not just an all-or-nothing perspective.

Posted by lymerae | June 22, 2007 10:38 AM

Well said @11!

Posted by Wes | June 22, 2007 12:03 PM

Well said @11!

Posted by Wes | June 22, 2007 12:03 PM

Miscarriages are bloody awful, too. Worse than an abortion, in my personal experience.
The majority of people who screech about abortions being murder or morally ambiguous are men: Humans who will never get pregnant, get pregnant accidentally, carry a fetus to term, give birth, or take care of the kids as they grow up.
It's some kind of macho behavior, all the men crying out against abortion. Oh, I know, there are women, too, women who think all babies are adorable little dolls to dress up, or who don't acknowledge all the places in the world where there are too many children, and women would actually like access to birth control.
Families should be planned.

Posted by isabelita | June 23, 2007 1:45 PM

Hey #6, it can have all the moral content you fucking want, but if it can't live outside my body, it's SOL.

Perhaps you forget, many women bleed and expel all sorts of tissue every month. That shit doesn't phase me, and I have a hard time believing it phases any but the most spineless of women.

Posted by lauren | June 25, 2007 2:12 PM

Comments Closed

In order to combat spam, we are no longer accepting comments on this post (or any post more than 14 days old).