‘Abortion: Stories Women Tell’: Tribeca Review

Personal narratives cardinal in a demeanour during America’s many divisive issue.

Tracy Droz Tragos works to get over us-versus-them morality in Abortion: Stories Women Tell, focusing on personal account over politics in a humanistic demeanour during an emanate that promises to sojourn divisive for a foreseeable future. Continuing authorised battles over entrance to termination make a picture’s geographical concentration timely: Here in Missouri, only one hospital is left that performs abortions, and legislators keep formulating hurdles like a 72-hour watchful duration for those seeking a procedure. The design shows what a hardship these laws are for women while also spending time with those who consider no hardship is too much; while a many-shades-of-gray proceed is not new, it will be an eye-opener for many viewers on cable.

Settling into one village affords Tragos a possibility to singular out some characters, like “Chi Chi,” a clinic’s take-no-guff confidence officer, or Kathy, a pro-life romantic who believes God was revelation her to get in a center of a Planned Parenthood/abortion discuss since her center name, Ann, is in a center of “Planned.” As in Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing’s 12th Delaware (also an HBO doc), she does a good pursuit conveying a moving atmosphere on a sidewalks surrounding this clinic, where proffer escorts accompany patients past a protesters who aloud desire them not to finish their pregnancies.

But a concentration here is some-more on articulate to those patients and those who’ve been in their shoes, anticipating some outliers — like Sarah, who was told by doctors that a child she was carrying was so misshapen it had no possibility to live after birth — among a some-more informed cases, like a 30 year-old singular mom of dual who works 70-90 hours a week and knows she can’t support a third baby.

Tragos keeps an eye out for nuanced positions: a college pro-lifer who thinks it’s “horrible” that others on her side scream during hospital visitors or reason banners with striking photos of broken fetuses; a hospital helper who sings “Jesus Loves Me” along with a protester, and resents being caricatured as an unbeliever. But a doc isn’t as committed to exploring philosophical and dignified debates as Tony Kaye’s Lake of Fire.

Instead, it puts as many first-person stories in front of us as probable — so many, in fact, that any gets too small shade time to entirely rivet us. The thought being, it seems, that a open contention of termination suffers from a shame-based overpower of those who have insinuate knowledge with it. It might be tough to believe, during this indicate in a debate, that many minds can be altered by conference stories such as these. But conference them positively creates it harder to mimic or boot women who find termination as if they all fit one mold.


Production company: Dinky Pictures

Distributor: HBO Documentary Films

Director-Producer: Tracy Droz Tragos

Executive producer: Sheila Nevins

Directors of photography: Kamau Bilal, Judy Phu

Editors: Christopher Roldan, Monique Zavistovski, Dan Duran

Composer: Nathan Halpern

Venue: Tribeca Film Festival (Viewpoints)


93 minutes