Abortion is taboo
The United States Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to abortion by setting aside the Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling in the Norma McCorvey case (protected by the pseudonym Jane Roe) that set a legal precedent guaranteeing a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy.
Today, the world is mired in what is understood as a setback in human rights issues, when a president still considered the greatest global power had to comply with a court order and allow each nation of that nation to self-govern. To decide whether or not to legalize abortion.
Paradoxically, in Mexico we are going in the opposite direction, not in the wrong direction. Abortion in our country is not punishable in 32 states since September 7, 2021, based on a court ruling by the nation’s Supreme Court of Justice that halted the criminalization of its practice. However, decriminalizing it has been difficult and legal abortion is not accessible in every country, so the right to safe abortion is still not guaranteed in our country.
Films on abortion are actually rare all over the world, but we have the wrong impression that they are made frequently, because every time they appear they have a very strong impact, and in recent years, the film community has decided to give them a special boost. The truth is that the topic is still a taboo and a large part of the public takes it for granted or ignores it.
Thus, titles such as 4 months, 3 weeks, 2 days (Romania, 2007); Never, almost never, sometimes, always (USA, 2020); Motitos (Argentina, 2020) and more recently the event (Lefinement. France, 2021) has been lauded at film festivals and is still engraved in the minds of moviegoers as the tipping point they represent for promoting the right of women to decide about their own bodies.
However, when we take a look at what is happening in Mexican cinema on this issue, we are struck by an unpleasant surprise and realize that abortion is still so elusive in our society. There are very few films that address this issue and they usually do so from a conservative perspective, when they are not directly funded by religious and pro-life groups.
In fact, there is no high-profile Mexican film, such as the world production we cite for reference, whose story is specifically focused on abortion and from the perspective of a woman who decides to stop the pregnancy and takes us by the hand. In its experience with institutions and the health system. It is well known by those who dedicate themselves to cinema in Mexico that raising a project with themes that are still taboo in our society usually encounters a lot of resistance and fails to raise the funds to produce it.
Father Amaro’s crime, the 2002 film directed by Carlos Carrera, starring Gael Garcia Bernal and Ana Claudia Talancon, which became the highest-grossing Mexican production in 20 years, touched upon the issue of abortion but in passing, as one of the many evils caused by the corrupt Catholic Church. And while today religion remains the favorite villain of everyone and everything, it is time for governments to take responsibility.
Unfortunately, in Mexico there are more films that oppose abortion, although they are unknown to most of them and live in disgrace. Sad not only because they criminalize women who need to undergo the procedure, but also because they are very poor quality films and only serve as anti-abortion propaganda.
This does not mean that there are no Mexican filmmakers interested in offering a fairer perspective on the subject. If we delve into the work of young filmmakers who independently produce their own short films, we find examples such as Pinky Promise From Indra Villasinor and vera Written by Juan Urdorica, recognized at the 2020 Morelia International Film Festival.
It remains to ask ourselves only what is missing so that these works get more promotion and can be seen in cinemas and television and in courses within cultural venues; So that future projects get the necessary support and in the not too distant future, let’s talk about a high-profile Mexican film about abortion, which travels to different countries and wins international awards.
We need these high-quality movies, TV shows, and series so that abortion comes out of the darkness in Mexico and families feel motivated to talk about these issues. But, above all, so that the sexual and reproductive rights of women do not remain purely demagogic, something politicians use as a sign and then back off, as the federal judiciary of the United States has just done.
To learn more about the case of Roe v. Wade, the documentary is available on Netflix reverse (2018), which addresses the clashes between those who think differently about the issue of abortion in the United States.
The documentary is in the HBO Max catalog jeans (2022), about a women’s network that facilitated abortion in the 1970s. The option is not yet available for Mexico, but it should be noted on the agenda to be aware of its premiere.
In the theater, the play blackbird He’s back on the billboard after getting the best ratings in his previous season. A violent story about sexual abuse, with performances by Cassandra Ciangirotti and Alejandro Calva. It is presented in Shakespeare Forum.
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