If you’re struggling to try and remember who Tony Kaye is, then let me assist you a bit. Kaye is the ubber talented director of the cult classic American History X staring Edward Norton and Edward Furlong. You know the one about neo-Nazis and white supremacy, if you haven’t seen it then not only are you crazy out of the loop but also unhip. This week I had the privilege of watching his latest film the documentary Lake of Fire. It was in the running this year for best Doc at the Oscars before the official list was decided on, but unfortunately it didn’t make it into the final list of possible choices.
What is Lake of Fire about? ABORTION! I know this is a very HOT subject and one that nobody takes lightly. LOF is probably the only Doc of its kind and certainly the only one I’ve ever seen that so directly impacted me. This shit is not for the faint of heart. If you would consider your personal knowledge about the subject to be limited then perhaps the film may be educational. If you feel your knowledge is deep and plentiful then I challenge you to watch so as to embrace the horrific side of the argument, and whether you’re pro-choice or pro-life you may come out feeling equally correct and morally right about the position you take.
LOF takes a relatively neutral position, presenting both sides of the argument and position as well as any I’ve ever seen, but due to the graphic nature of some of the material I would say it can be pretty tough to stay neutral. Overall I would call myself Pro-Choice but I also have to be fair by saying that I had actually never seen an abortion be performed and until I’d seen what the “aborted fetus” looked like and exactly how the whole thing is done my position was shaken but I’m not sure it was broken. The other thing for me is whether the government should have the right to force women to give birth simply because they’ve had sex. The line between choosing sex as opposed to motherhood must be separated and the right to have an abortion provides that right.
I am no expert on what goes on inside a woman when she considers a sexual endeavor, but I have to assume that it cannot always be parenthood. In the same fashion that I’m sure most men don’t, but no man has ever had to be pregnant for nine months. Lake of Fire draws a complex and captivating picture of all the various sides and struggles facing both camps vying for and depending on Roe v Wade. You also get a very up-close and personal look at the graphic and tragic sides of this dilemma. You’d be shocked to discover how many abortion doctors and nurses have been shot and bombed over the years. In case you didn’t know it this Abortion issue is really a war and it’s being fought as one by both sides. But it’s the pro-lifers that have the blood on their hands so far, but that doesn’t mean there wont be retributions and retaliations in the future.
This film really should be shown in high schools because as tough as the subject is as and rough as the opposition is the reality of the situation faces all Americans. The other fact is that most people feel Abortion is one of those laws that could never be changed, but I’m hear to tell you that is just not so. Over the past several years a very powerful and economically structured force has been massing against Roe v Wade and been trying to figure out ways of getting it overturned. Botched abortion was the 2nd leading cause of death amongst minority women in the time period before abortion was legal. My own aunt nearly died because of a “back-ally abortion” in the late 60’s. My mother had to rush her to the hospital and nearly was too late. I know that in this modern era it seems crazy to think of women going to Mexico to get proper medical treatment but maybe those days are not as far removed as one might think.
The problem as I see it is that it’s impossible to assume that one side is just going to give in, ever. Especially the Pro-Life side because the roots of the position are often about Murder and criminal liability. It is pretty tough to argue with someone who wants to blow you up or shoot you because you’re a murderer in his or her eyes. How do you convince someone you are not a killer of babies? What would the first step be? I have a feeling that we are operating outside the realm of scientific proof for these folks. The fanaticism with which these Christian fundamentalist work with would be very tough to match.
As pro-choice we stand on a principle of civil rights and liberties but that hardly creates the same amount of motivation as the fight against baby killing. I would have to say we’re totally unmatched, and we don’t have the luxury of universal right on our side. It’s really an opinion, whereas if you’re a Christian the situation doesn’t have much leeway. Lake of Fire is a tireless piece of film-making that I have to take my hat off to. I’m positive that I could have never made a film quite like this, nor could anyone else. Thank god for films because it allows for ideas and concepts to be discussed in a wonderfully safe and also dangerous medium, which has built in appeal simply for being what it is.
Tony Kaye is a certifiable badass and I have to say one hell of a ballsy bastard. This is the one topic my public speaking professor and argument and debate coach would not let the class or team go near. Simply because of the fire and danger of walking down that road and the multitude of other suitable discussion topics available. For Tony to take on a subject of this size and to pull it off, wow. PLEASE RENT THIS MOVIE!
I got mine from Netflix because they are the best, but you can get it from other sources I’m sure. DO SOMETHING & SEE SOMETHING THAT MAKES YOU THINK. PLEASE.
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