As will happen in the digital universe, "In the News" (to the right of this column), disappeared recently, during a Google "upgrade" of the site. It is back to document the pivotal role that the cinema, particularly human rights filmmaking, plays in the recording of history. (This section generally contains a list of films I have reviewed in the past, or feature-length interviews I conducted with filmmakers.) Sadly, this section is also a testament to how little social justice issues have improved in the U.S. This month, it addresses the fact that women are fighting yet again for a right granted to them by law, and by the human rights recognized in every democratic constitution.
Tony Kaye's Lake of Fire is one of the most disturbing films ever made on the subject of anti-abortion extremism. Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady's 12th and Delaware, set in Port Fierce, Florida, documents the then burgeoning war against women that has come to define the state; in a brief interview with Grady, the filmmaker discusses the infiltration of far right religious groups into neighborhoods that host abortion clinics. Maisie Crow’s Jackson is an excellent portrait of the last abortion clinic in the state of Mississippi, a documentary that foresaw that state's present-day restrictions, among the most aggressive in the U.S.