Release Date: June 15th, 2007 (Cinema Village) by First Run Features.
Directed by Stephen Fell and Will Thompson.
BASIC PREMISE: A documentary about the anti-abortion movement in America.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Unborn in the USA tackles a hot topic in a somewhat provocative way, but fails to be compelling because it merely shows that the anti-abortion movement exists and that it quite often clashes with people who are pro-choice. Students at who take classes as part of the Focus on Family Program in their college learn how to communicate their pro-life beliefs to those who want to get an abortion. They travel around to other campuses, such of the University of Denver, and blend in as college students while handing out pamphlets and showing large pictures of aborted fetuses. Co-directors Stephen Fell and Will Thompson include too many repetitive scenes of protest and fail to synthesize the facts into a compelling argument—how many times do you have to see people reacting in shock to the gruesome pictures? Fell and Thompson could have made it more interesting by interviewing more of the anti-abortion believes and the pro-choice believers so that you can understand what precisely led to their decision or, perhaps, indecision. In other words, it wouldn’t hurt to get to know some of the activists. Even showing more footage of a quirky woman, who makes a living out of sculpting fetuses at different stages of abortion, would have helped to keep you engaged rather than to be unsurprised by the further protests of the anti-abortion movement and more of the same, predictable reactions from pro-choice believers.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: The basic message, besides that you should be pro-life, is the importance of showing the truth no matter how harsh it may be. When the students display the graphic images of aborted fetuses along with photos of holocaust victims, it may be shocking, but at least it forces you to contemplate—just like when Enid in Ghost World displayed to her class a painting of Coon’s Chicken Inn’s racist logo and explained that it makes people wonder why it’s so shocking. Both in that fictional movie and in this case, the public display of shocking images cause more anger than truly intellectual discussion, which is quite sad.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Redundant and not enough synthesis of both sides of the abortion issue.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 4
IN A NUTSHELL: Somewhat provocative, but often redundant, unsurprising and not enough synthesis.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: DVD
The "U" Menu