Lake of Fire (2006)
September 30, 2015 10:31 PM - Subscribe

Lake Of Fire is a very dark, very thorough, very good, and very triggering 2.5-hour documentary by Tony Kaye about the politics of abortion in the US in the ‘90s and early aughts. The film captures a range of beliefs about abortion, manifestations of community among the pro- and anti-choice, the blood that has been shed in the war, and (a fraction) of the reality of the process of getting an abortion.

While primarily made up of interviews, the documentary is loosely framed around a few events that occur over a prolonged range of years:
  • The passage of the (now overturned) “Women’s Health and Human Life Protection Act”, the strongest anti-choice law in South Dakota’s history
  • The killings of three Florida doctors who provided abortions, inclding graphic pictures of victims, and the trials of the murderers
  • The shooting up of a Planned Parenthood in Brookline, Massachussetts
  • The evolution of Norma McCorvey (“Jane Roe”) from Pro- to Anti-choice, and her conversion to Christianity
  • Various protests at abortion clinics, a March For Life, periodic check-ins with Randall Terry, speeches by political and religious figures, and a rock concert
  • The aftermath of the bombing of an abortion clinic by Eric Rudolph
  • Two very graphic trips to abortion clinics that bookend the meat of the film.
Below, I provide a breakdown of the individuals that IMDb credits as appearing in the film. As good as Lake of Fire, a number of interviewees don’t appear to be credited on screen. This makes it hard to tie all of their players to their statements and positions, but I’ve done my best to split them up. I don’t recall seeing folks with (?) next to their names, so I’ve position them using relatively uninformed guesses. Many of these folks don’t really fit into the simple binary of pro- and anti-, but quite a few do.

Some of these interview subjects are only present for a few sound bytes despite their prominence while others are given relatively large swathes of screen time despite being minor players. I could have used more Frances Kissling and less random-protestor-Andrew-Cabot, but Kaye makes it all work very well. (The juxtaposition of Cabot and Hill makes the former seem all the scarier.) The framing with the visits to the abortion clinics is particularly well done, and the entire Norma McCorvey section is gripping.

Interviewed for the film Archival Footage and Public Events
posted by Going To Maine 8 users marked this as a favorite
« Older Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The ...   |  Empire: Without A Country... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments