Abortion is a topic that can be tricky to deal with in movies, but when people do, they must tread carefully. For today’s list, I’m listing five memorable movies featuring abortion scenes that know how to make their point, and should be commended for confronting it so truthfully.
4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (2007)
This is the obvious one, so I thought I’d get it out of the way quickly. It is probably the best film that deals with abortion, and the abortion ‘scene’ is not really explicitly shown, but it is the way director Cristian Mungiu deals with the subject that makes it what it is. He refuses to take sides: sure, the characters believe an abortion is the right thing to do, but pro-life activists could argue that the film’s ambiguous ending, as well as what the characters are forced to do in order to obtain the abortion, leave Gabita and Otilia regretting it.
Enter the Void (2010)
People who’ve seen this film will remember the abortion scene; it’s almost impossible to forget. It’s possibly the most graphic on this list, and Gaspar Noe puts a wince on our face as we see it occur. A fairly brief, but incredibly descriptive and unforgettable scene.
The Kingdom (1994)
This is one you probably don’t remember. In the 4th part of Lars von Trier’s 1994 hit miniseries The Kingdom, a doctor administers an abortion on a woman whose fetus is growing at an accelerating rate. In the final scene of the episode (and the series) we see her stomach bulge and enlarge as a screaming figure pushes his way out of her vagina. Incredibly graphic, somewhat comic but definitely nightmarish.
Dirty Dancing (1987)
This was a film you weren’t expecting to see abortion in. Granted, it’s not that graphic, but nevertheless it is an abortion scene, and it’s a fair enough inclusion on this list. I don’t recommend seeing this movie, mainly because I think its godawful, but an abortion scene is an abortion scene, so here it is.
Lake of Fire (2006)
This was the film that inspired me to make this list. A friend gave me a copy of it and told me I ‘needed to see it.’ It is a 2006 documentary directed by Tony Kaye (American History X) which deals with the history of abortion in America and the world. Kaye refuses to take sides, remaining darkly ambiguous. There are some scenes in here that will shock viewers, including abortion footage, but some of the interviews with people are equally as disturbing. If there is a documentary I recommend to you, it’s definitely this. Absolutely one of the best and most provocative documentaries I have ever seen.
Those are my selections. Any I’ve forgotten that you’d like to add? Leave a comment below.