“Roe v Wade: A Nation Divided” is a short film, within the framework of 2022-23, that is simply gutsy. It takes an issue that is polarizing and extremely divided in the Western world and attempts to show both sides of the intensity.
In full disclosure, we contacted the owners of this website (WILDsound Corp.) about the showcase of this film at their Political Feedback Film Festival to gauge a reaction. The festival owner Matthew stated that out of over 7,000 short film screenings at their various festivals since 2007, this was the film that had the toughest time getting audiences to go on public record giving their opinions about the film. It’s an issue that people feel very strongly about and in today’s world you either are on one side or the other. Most don’t want to hear another perspective, even though it’s probably what we need to hear.
There is a segment in the first 3 minutes from the HBO show “Real Time with Bill Maher” where the host, Bill Maher, calls out the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for tweeting that abortion harms a list of groups, including the LGBTQ community, immigrants, the disabled, to name a few, but not saying that it harms women themselves. Maher says it in his usual intelligent smug way and the filmmaker chose to edit out the laughter from the audience that occurred when that segment happened live. I remember watching this episode months back. Maher’s point was that he’s pro-choice and a liberal himself, but perhaps even the side he agrees with has also gone a bit far. I don’t know the filmmaker personally, but perhaps that’s what she’s attempting to say with this film and it’s her overall theme and point.
The film starts off with a pro-choice point of view, then veers off to the pro-choice extreme after this moment in the film, and with that a pro-life point of view. Like Maher’s show, where he consistently calls out the “woke left” and their extreme takes on wanting to cancel people from the past who don’t agree with “them”, documentarian Sarah Woodward is doing a bit of the same about the levels of extreme with the pro-choice group. This reviewer, full disclosure, believes in a woman’s right to choose as it’s her body and she can do whatever she wants with it. So even I had a bit of a bias when the film veered into talking points of what an actual abortion is from a medical standpoint. The film physically shows us the elements how an abortion is done and then what they do with the dead tissues and carcasses. It’s not for the faint of heart, which is why there is a disclaimer at the beginning of the film. These are images that are not going to leave you anytime soon.
And that is the entire point of the film. It’s easy to pick a side while you sit on the sidelines. The analogy I give is that most people will agree that it’s okay to eat meat and for populations to profit from the selling of meat by killing animals in an assembly line way. I eat steak, hamburgers, hot dogs etc…, but I’m not at the meat plant seeing these animals get killed in the violent and soul-less way they do. Perhaps if I did witness it then I wouldn’t eat the meat provided for me at the everyday grocery store, or a quick UberEats scroll and click. Perhaps I would. So by showing what actually occurs when an abortion actually takes place and what they do with the undelivered baby’s carcass, it gives people context on their issue and choice. See what you believe!
This is a film that people really don’t want to see because it forces them to be accountable for their “choice”. And perhaps that’s why it’s an important film to see. Bravo to the filmmaker.
By Eli Manning
Directed by Sarah Woodward
Watch the Audience Feedback Video from the POLITICAL Festival: