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Unborn in the USA

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Abortion has come up in our discussions about "Waitress" and "Knocked Up," but today I learned of "Unborn in the USA," a new documentary from a pro-life perspective.

I discovered the film by reading Andrew O

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Unborn in the USA: Inside the War on Abortion

Two Rice U. students, Stephen Fell and Will Thompson, assigned to make a documentary about a person they don't know, wind up embedded in the anti-abortion movement with seemingly limitless access to everything from tactical training courses to interviews with key members of the Army of God in "Unborn in the USA." Those expecting an expose of the pro-life movement in the vein of "Jesus Camp" may be disappointed, since the docu lacks a clearly defined center. Still, "Unborn," slated to open today at Gotham's Cinema Village, makes for a real eye-opener.

Ronnie Scheib, Variety, June 14

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Just read all the reviews from metacritic. Fascinating reading.

In essence, the positive reviews say the film excels in providing a mostly objective view of the pro-life movement, from its most empathetic to its most radical. They're disappointed in that the pro-choice argument was not articulated (so no minds will change in the watching of the film), but they hope the pro-choice side will be galvanized by hearing the perspectives and noting the tactics of the pro-lifers.

Of the reviews, I liked _Salon's_ the best; and I always like Edelstein's writings and can respect his willingness to share how unnerved he became while watching the film. Even the lone negative Villiage Voice review contains much the same content as Edelstein's... save that his thumb is up; hers is down.

This might be the _Jesus Camp_ of this year, save for the lack of the perceived emotional manipulation of toddlers-to-tweens of the previous film. Cool.

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I was just about to endorse this interview with the filmmakers, when I stumbled over this perplexing question and answer:

Who or what are your biggest creative influences?

SF/WT: For this film, it was "Hell House" by George Ratliff. It proved to us that you could make an unflinching and compassionate film on an incredibly controversial sect of fundamentalist Christianity, yet allow the characters within the film to be three dimensional. It ultimately invites the audience to participate in coming to their own conclusions on the characters. It's a very brave and organic style, and one in which you're not making the movie to prove you're right. "Jesus Camp" was successful last year at accomplishing this as well. Granted, our film ambitiously takes that style and places it into a national context, but we're confident that our film will be received in the same way as those two landmark films.

I still haven't seen either of the two mentioned films, but from what I've read here and elsewhere, I can buy "Hell House" as "compassionate" "not [made] to prove you're right," but not "Jesus Camp."

I'm a little less interested in this movie now.

Edited by Christian

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I still haven't seen either of the two mentioned films, but from what I've read here and elsewhere, I can buy "Hell House" as "compassionate" "not [made] to prove you're right," but not "Jesus Camp."

I'm a little less interested in this movie now.

I wouldn't be so quick to judge, especially if you haven't even seen either of the movies. Jesus Camp was nominated for an Oscar and generally heralded for how humanely it treated its subjects. In fact, of all of the subjects in the film, the only one to disavow his representaion was Ted Haggard, who - we all unfortunately now know - was exposed for having a homosexual relationship with a male prostitute and drug dealer.

I've seen both films, and they're fascinating - they put passionate people of faith in a neutral, albiet secular, light. Not everyone in the Christian community agrees with these teaching methods, but they're certainly there, and it's always interesting to see how someone else practices their faith.

I would love to see Unborn because, like these two films, it shows how the secular world sees part of Christian America. Unfortunatley it's only showing in New York, so I guess I'll have to wait for the DVD.

Has anyone in NYC seen it?

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I think Christian's concerns about Jesus Camp stem from the way it shoehorned that liberal radio talk-show host into the movie. Hell House just lets the people be who they are, without forcing outside commentary into the picture.

Of course, it's unfortunate that a movie about the pro-life movement would have to be perceived as a portrayal of Christians.

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Of course, it's unfortunate that a movie about the pro-life movement would have to be perceived as a portrayal of Christians.

Absolutely. There are atheist pro-lifers, Jewish pro-lifers, etc. Nat Hentoff is both of the above.

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