Friday, July 20, 2007
This is wonderful news from our Lois' Lodge housefather. Some of the client's names have been changed to protect their confidentiality.
Good news to end the week on - Katie just told me that she committed her life to Christ last night. Katie, Gwine and I had what appears to be a productive conversation about what it means to commit your life to Jesus and walk with him and what that means for your life. Gwine, with all her difficulties, continues to be used by God in helping to communicate the gospel effectively to the other girls in both programs - I know she also had and has influence in Maria's life too. This is why we do what we do here at Lois' Lodge - PTL."
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
The first person you have to prepare for your daughter's dating is you. You must prepare yourself to hear such things as, “everybody’s doing it,” “all my friends are allowed,” “Brenda’s dad lets her,” “you’re so mean,” “you just don’t understand,” “things are different now,” just to name a few. This barrage of statements can shake the confidence of the strongest father. Here are some suggestions that will help you maneuver through these tough times.
- Take your daughter on a date. Perhaps this is something that you have done already but it wouldn’t hurt to plan a date night where the focus is actually on the “dos” and “don’ts” of dating. Caution: It is around this age that most daughters perfect the eye roll. Do not let these eye rolls stop you.
- Ask your daughter the following questions and then listen closely to her answers. The goal is to have a pleasant conversation where you to learn more about your daughter rather than an interrogation.
- Is anyone in her class dating yet?
- What does she know about dating?
- What does she feel is a good age to start dating? And why?
- Do her friends talk about dating?
- Discuss what you know best - boys. Having been one yourself, you are her expert in how they think, act, and manipulate (at times) to get what they want. If you don’t educate her on boys, someone else will, and they might not have her best interests in mind. Most fathers find this discussion uncomfortable, and so will your daughter. She may try to change the subject by intimidating you into thinking it is stupid and unnecessary. Don’t fall for it.
- Explain to your daughter that she is a precious young lady who is “love-worthy.”A father is the first man who is supposed to pursue his daughter’s heart. If you pursue your daughter’s heart in the right way (with her best interests in mind), it will prove to her that she is worthy of receiving love, or at least in the early dating scene, respect. The love you give her will help her separate the “champs” from the “chumps” when she starts dating.
- Explain the concept of “listening to your gut.” Most of us have experienced times where a situation just doesn’t seem right. Explain to your daughter that she too will experience this and that she should listen to her gut and flee the situation.
- It is important that your daughter know that you are there for her any time of the day or night. Many of us have learned valuable life lessons from making mistakes, but research shows that children growing up with involved, responsible and committed fathers are less likely to choose risky behaviors.
One more important question: What is your love life modeling for your children? Whether you are divorced, married, in a second marriage, or dating, your children are watching how you treat and are treated by your loved one, how you express your love, and how you argue with your mate. They learn by watching you. Although no parent in the history has ever been a perfect role model, we can honestly acknowledge our mistakes and do better.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
You are going to think that all I have on my mind these days is movies. Not so. My husband and I seldom go to the movies and when we do its always the Matthews Theater where you can go for a couple of dollars. That being said, I think that there is something interesting going on with the media- whether it is a change in thinking on prolife issues or a desire to appease Conservative audiences- I am not sure. I would love to think that Hollywood is becoming more sensitive to people that are offended by the movies that seem mock the values that they support. I would be interested in your thoughts. Leave comments if you are so inclined.
Several recent films take a life-affirming view of unwanted pregnancies, as babies are carried to term and abortion is dismissed as an option. Could this be a trend? by Brett McCracken, Christianity Today posted 07/17/07
Is 2007 the year the abortion debate goes Hollywood? In addition to several fiction films which address the polarizing topic, this year will also see at least two feature length documentaries on the debate: Unborn in the U.S.A. (in very limited release; it comes to DVD in October) and this fall's much-anticipated Lake of Fire (director Tony Kaye's first film since American History X). So what's with the sudden cinematic interest in this hot-button issue?
The subject of abortion—long taboo but occasionally approached in cinema (see The Cider House Rules or Vera Drake)—is arguably the most divisive topic in American civic discourse. As such, it is rare that a Hollywood film is brave enough to confront the matter, and even films that do approach it (such as Alexander Payne's 1996 satire Citizen Ruth) usually refuse to take definitive sides. Of course, there have been films with decidedly pro-choice perspectives (HBO's If These Walls Could Talk comes to mind), but can you recall any mainstream Hollywood films that are explicitly pro-life?
Though they likely wouldn't call themselves "pro-life" (in the politicized sense of the phrase), several recent films contain messages—both implicit and explicit—that herald the virtues and sanctity of giving birth to new life. Four such films are Children of Men, Waitress, Knocked Up, and the forthcoming Bella (to be released this fall).
Children of Men ushered in 2007 with a stark, dystopian vision of a future world mired in terrorism, racism, and existential despair caused by the universal inability to procreate. The film is about the struggle to protect one woman, Kee (Claire-Hope Ashitey), who, against all odds, is pregnant. Husbandless, penniless, and by all accounts hopeless, Kee brings her baby into the world, and with it a light and hope for mankind.
In May came Waitress, an offbeat romantic comedy that charts the unhappy rural life of pie-maker/waitress Jenna (Keri Russell). The film agonizingly follows the hapless Jenna as she deals with a deadbeat, abusive husband (Jeremy Sisto) and her pregnancy with his unwanted baby. With every reason to end the pregnancy, Jenna instead opts to carry it through—a life-changing decision that in the end proves her saving grace.
Along the lines of Waitress—though much, much cruder—is Knocked Up, the comedic hit of the summer from director Judd Apatow (The 40-Year Old Virgin). The film follows a gorgeous, on-the-way-up career woman, Alison (Katherine Heigl), who meets a greasy loser of a guy, Ben (Seth Rogan), at a club one night and—after numerous drinks and subsequent lapses in judgment—ends up hung over and pregnant the next morning. Going against modern wisdom, which would call an abortion the "no-brainer" response to Alison's predicament, the film instead follows Alison as she deals with keeping her baby—despite her mother's not-so-subtle hints that she should abort—and tries to make a relationship work with the child's father.
Perhaps the most explicit of this cycle of pseudo pro-life films, however, is Bella, which won the prestigious audience award at the Toronto Film Festival last fall and will hit theaters in America in a couple months. The film, directed by Alejandro Monteverde and executive-produced by Steve McEveety (Braveheart, The Passion of the Christ), comes from a team of faith-based filmmakers and presents a beautiful story of love, heartbreak, and hope—centering on, once again, a single woman dealing with an unplanned pregnancy.
In each of these films, the baby is born into chaotic, far-from-ideal conditions. In Children of Men, Kee's baby enters a post-apocalyptic world with bombs, gunfire, and destruction happening literally right outside the window. And in all of these films the mother is lonely and afraid, with the father either out of sight, unsupportive (Waitress) or just a bumbling idiot (Knocked Up).
If abortion were ever a "good option," it would certainly be in these cases, or so go the arguments of modern culture. Indeed, these films have been openly criticized for not presenting abortion as the clear—or at least equally valid—option for the pregnant women in the films. Mireya Navarro wrote in The New York Times in early June that because studies show "nearly two-thirds of unwanted pregnancies end in abortion," Waitress and Knocked Up "go out of their way to sidestep real life." As if the one third of unwanted pregnancies that do not end in abortion are somehow irrelevant or undeserving of Hollywood portrayal! It seems the chief complaint is that reasons aren't given in the films as to why these women go through with their pregnancies; but what reason need ever be given to justify a pregnant woman going through with the birth? It's a natural, beautiful, transcendent (if not ridiculously painful) thing to have a baby, something these films all portray.
Indeed, what makes these films so viscerally pro-life are their depictions of the actual act of childbirth, and the joyous results therein (the babies themselves). The birth scene in Children of Men is a strikingly powerful moment when the chaotic turbulence of the world falling apart all around gives way to the intimate moment of one tiny soul fighting its way into existence. The tone and setting of the scene—a dark, dirty, stable-esque room—hearkens back to Bethlehem in more ways than one, as the tiny newborn brings with it a hope and light for both its mother and the world. In Waitress the scene in the delivery room is one of chaos and catharsis, as Jenna simultaneously fights off the annoyingly physical attention of her husband and agonizes to push the baby out. When the penultimate moment finally comes and she holds the baby in her arms, Jenna has not only a new child but a new confidence in her ability to forge the path she was never brave enough to go down before. Similar catharsis happens in the hilarious and poignant Knocked Up birth scene, in which the arrival of a healthy baby fortifies the strength of its weakened, battered-down parents who at once see life in a different way.
In each of these cases, giving birth to a baby provides the characters a stimulant of purity and clarity—an impetus to do better, try harder, and love more. It is an end that more than justifies the pain, labor, and baggage of the means—a perspective that can only come after the encounter with the awesome event that is childbirth.
A pro-life upswing?So what is going on here? Is it just a coincidence that these films are coming mere months after the U.S. Supreme Court's significant decision in Gonzales v. Carhart to uphold the federal partial-birth abortion ban, a decided victory for the American pro-life movement? Is this all part of a pro-life upswing in terms of cultural authority?
It would be naïve to assume that the "pro-life" messages (if we can call them that) of these current films are at all indicative of a shift in Hollywood to the right. It is more likely that Hollywood is simply doing what it has always done—making films of a particular kind for audiences of a particular kind. Hollywood doesn't have to care about pro-life causes to understand that there are large amounts of money to be made by throwing the occasional bone to the mysterious Red Staters whose support can propel a film (Passion, Narnia) to the box office stratosphere. Hollywood is all about target marketing and maximizing profits, and as Ty Burr noted in a recent Boston Globe article, they are keenly aware that "religious people and other audiences with strong right-to-life views do buy [movie] tickets, and lots of them."
Still, this logic doesn't really explain how a film like Knocked Up, a hard 'R' that is decidedly family-unfriendly, is expected to bring in the evangelical audience. It's not. If it's true that the studio executives in Hollywood are the ones behind the pro-life aspects of these recent films (in effort to appeal to conservative or religious audiences), you'd think the films would be more generally "Christian/family friendly" and not chalk full of profanity and otherwise offensive material. Furthermore, I doubt that the audiences going to see Waitress and Children of Men (rather indie-minded, specialized films) are dominated by conservative evangelicals.
Perhaps the popularity of these life-affirming films indicates a more general cultural longing for life, in the midst of a world that is increasingly cavalier in its cheap treatment of it. It is interesting that these films come at a time when the "death-affirming" exploits of new horror genres are beginning to wear out their welcome. Not long ago, the Saw and Hostel brands of nihilistic "bloodporn" were turning huge profits; but recently, with the financial failure of Eli Roth's torture-happy Hostel 2 and the fetishized gore of Grindhouse not winning over audiences, viewers may be tiring of the cheap, exploitative treatment of something so valuable as a human life.
I hesitate to make a causal connection here, because certainly the filmmakers behind Waitress, Knocked Up, and Bella had no idea that audiences would soon grow weary of Hostel-ian bloodporn—or that the audience might be longing for something more positive. But I do believe we can characterize cinema—at least in terms of the audience's reception—to some extent as something cyclical, always swinging between various extremes.
Perhaps, then, we are now entering a cycle of positive cinema—if not "pro-life" than certainly "life affirming." And whatever the reason—and however it plays out in political or cultural arenas—we should be glad for these films, which shine the incomparably illuminating light of cinema on the holy and sanctified gift of human life.
Monday, July 16, 2007
Parenting linked to youth success
The more involved parents are, the more likely American youth are to be healthy and productive at work and school, a new study says.
The report by America's Promise Alliance surveyed 2,000 youth and 2,000 of their parents to analyze the connection between parental involvement and the well-being of children ages 12 to 17. Kids with the strongest relationships with their parents are most likely to be physically healthy, have good school attendance and performance, and better workplace skills.
Overall, eight in 10 students surveyed reported having a mostly or very close relationship with their mothers, while seven in 10 reported the same with their fathers. The study also identified a positive correlation between successful youth and the presence of what the Alliance calls the "five promises" in youth's lives -- caring adults, safe places, a healthy start, an effective education and opportunities to help others.
Successful youth were more likely to have more of the five promises present in their lives than their less successful peers, the study says. Two in three youth with the highest level of parental involvement reported feeling safe and found constructive activities for their free time, the study says, while only two in 10 of those with the lowest level of parental support were appropriately occupied. Youth must have at least four of the five promises to be successful, the report says, but fewer than one in three young people report having enough of the promises to feel confident about their futures.
License to WedReview by Peter T. Chattaway posted 07/03/07
License to Wed
Rated PG-13(for sexual humor and language)
Theater release:July 3, 2007by Warner Brothers
Directed by: Ken Kwapis
Runtime: 92 minutes
Cast:Robin Williams (Reverend Frank), Mandy Moore (Sadie Jones), John Krasinski (Ben Murphy), Josh Flitter (Choir Boy), Eric Christian Olsen (Carlisle), Christine Taylor (Lindsey Jones), Grace Zabriskie (Grandma Jones), Wanda Sykes (Nurse Borman)
There is a scene in License to Wed in which Robin Williams, playing an Episcopalian minister named Reverend Frank, throws a baseball at John Krasinski and hits him in the nose—and you suspect it wasn't an accident. Williams then comes up to Krasinski and offers to "heal" his bleeding nose, first by laying hands on him and speaking in mock tongues, and then by going "old school" and reciting some Latin. Meanwhile, a dark-haired boy in a dark suit, looking a little like a chunkier version of The Omen's Damien Thorne, stands to the side and shouts "The power of Christ compels you!" as though he was rehearsing for a grade-school stage adaptation of The Exorcist. And then Williams shrugs it all off and admits that Krasinski just needs some first aid.
If you take spiritual matters at all seriously, then you have to wonder why in the world any minister would mock multiple forms of prayer—especially at the very moment when someone needs his help, and all because of an injury inflicted by the minister himself. Of course, perhaps I take this too seriously. Perhaps we are supposed to forget that Reverend Frank is an actual character, and perhaps we are supposed to look at this entire movie as an extension of Williams's manic stand-up shtick. But even if that were the case, License to Wed still isn't very funny.
Robin Williams as Reverend Frank Instead, the film ranges somewhere between boring and offensive. And I don't just mean offensive because of how it treats religious themes. I mean offensive in the sense that the entire film is populated by characters who drive each other crazy for no good reason, characters whose presence you are all too eager to leave. And throwing baseballs at other people's noses is just the tip of the iceberg.
The film concerns Ben Murphy (Krasinski) and Sadie Jones (Mandy Moore), a young couple who meet, move in together, decide to get married and enroll in a bizarre marriage-preparation course created by Reverend Frank. The film gives a tacit nod to the fact that Ben and Sadie really shouldn't be sleeping together before marriage; when an afternoon quickie results in them being late for their first meeting with the Reverend, Sadie jokes, "We're so going to hell!" But Reverend Frank seems okay with the modern morality; not only does he approvingly call moving in together "the next step" after dating, there are certain aspects of his course that require the couple to live together. He does, however, stipulate that the couple abstain from sex for the duration of the course—though it seems he does so less for moral reasons and more because it's just another way to drive happy young couples apart.
John Krasinski as Ben Murphy and Mandy Moore as Sadie Jones And yes, driving young couples apart seems to be key to Reverend Frank's method—all for their own good, of course. Reverend Frank gets Ben and Sadie to participate in exercises that create a world of awkwardness for both of them, but especially for Ben: he gets them to improvise "fights" in front of strangers, fights that bring out tensions the couple never knew they had; he gets Ben to say what he "really" thinks of his future in-laws to their faces; he makes Ben and Sadie "parent" a couple of creepy robot babies that excrete all the usual things that babies excrete; and he gets Sadie to drive blindfolded, with Ben guiding her from the back seat, to teach them a lesson in trust. And why do they put up with all this? Because Sadie's family has ties to Reverend Frank's church and she has always wanted to get married there.
All of these characters are annoying, on some level or other. Planning a wedding is stressful enough—especially when it must be done within three weeks, as is the case here—without someone like Reverend Frank picking at every scab and looking for new wounds to inflict just so he can heal them. Sadie's willingness to play along with Reverend Frank's schemes—and her consistent disappointment in Ben for failing to be as enthusiastic for these schemes as she is—makes you want to call the wedding off long before any of the characters suggest doing so. And when Ben is goaded into telling Sadie's family what he "really" thinks of them, let's just say he goes beyond the call of duty in a way that makes him look dumb and clueless.
Rev. Frank's course includes a 'parenting' segment Does the film, directed by Ken Kwapis (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants) from a script credited to four different people, give us any reason to root for these characters despite their flaws? Not really. The prologue rushes through Ben and Sadie's courtship too quickly for us to get a sense of them as anything more than a generically cute couple; and in places, the film seems to fumble for clichés without actually finding them. Case in point: Eric Christian Olsen pops up in a few scenes as a friend of Sadie's family whose advice Sadie is supposedly always seeking, and in a typical romantic comedy, he would be Ben's chief rival for Sadie's affections. But his presence barely registers here, and the advice Sadie seeks from him never goes deeper than wedding decorations—and since she raises this topic with Ben, too, he really has no call to be jealous.
Then there is the subplot in which Ben tries to dig up some dirt on Reverend Frank that will discredit him in Sadie's eyes—but when it backfires on Ben, the moment is remarkably non-funny. Indeed, on a certain level, it's almost sanctimonious.
The film isn't a complete dud. At times you can see the filmmakers trying to come up with something a little unusual or different, such as a flip-it book that turns into an animated dream. And anything which gets people to think about what it means to be married, and to commit to someone regardless of the difficulties that come along, can't be all bad. But if ever there was a ceremony or ritual that needed to be called off, it is the one that begins with the act of buying a ticket for this movie.
Talk About It Discussion starters
1. What sort of things do you think couples need to talk about before they get married? Does Reverend Frank's course seem like a good way to get some of those issues out in the open? Why or why not?
2. Do you think Ben and Sadie know each other well enough to get married before they begin taking Reverend Frank's course? What does the movie reveal or not reveal about them and their compatibility?
3. What do you make of Reverend Frank's irreverent approach to life? Should he be treating some things more sacredly? How would you respond to a minister who behaved in real life the way that Reverend Frank behaves in this film?
The Family Corner
For parents to consider License to Wed is rated PG-13 for sexual humor, including a man coming on to his fiancée in bed while a minister spies on them from outside, and language, including a few four-letter words and a few uses of "God" and "Jesus" in vain. The minister frequently makes light of religious matters in ways that some might find irreverent: he keeps a bag of snacks in a hollowed-out Bible, he mocks both charismatic and Catholic forms of prayer after he injures a man, he says things like "Let's get the flock out of here," he makes double entendres and glib references to venereal diseases in a children's class on the Ten Commandments, and so on.
Photos © Copyright Warner Brothers
Young working women played by Katherine Heigl (far left, with Leslie Mann) in "Knocked Up" and Keri Russell (right) in "Waitress" go through with pregnancies even though each has serious concerns about the father of her baby. (AFP/Getty Images (left); Alan Makfield (right))
Studios choose to play it safe
Studios choose to play it safe
Hollywood may vote pro-choice, but the message of three current films seems closer to Florida's anti-abortion license plate
By Ty Burr, Globe Staff June 17, 2007
They're keeping the baby.
The movies are, that is. Abortion is one of the last taboos in mainstream American film -- a no-flyover zone of many years' standing. No matter how realistically presented, it's just not something that's done if you want to keep the sympathy (and ticket sales) of multiplex audiences. That said, each moviegoing generation confronts and/or backs away from the subject in its own fashion, and three current releases have opted to carry to term, whether it makes dramatic sense or not.
Are we at a fulcrum in the pop discourse? Is Hollywood backing away from Roe v. Wade? Probably not, since the matter has more to do with the studios' terror of giving offense than active sermonizing. Yet there the films are, and in the fall will come "Lake of Fire," a documentary that stands to aggravate matters by offending just about everybody.
In the pulpy thriller "Mr. Brooks ," the buttoned-down serial killer played by Kevin Costner learns his college-age daughter (Danielle Panabaker ) is pregnant by a married man. "There will be no abortion," he thunders, but then softens his tone, successfully convincing the girl that "a grandchild would be a wonderful gift to your mother and me."
In "Waitress ," written and directed by the late Adrienne Shelly , a diner waitress (Keri Russell ) in the deep South gets pregnant by her crude lout of a husband (Jeremy Sisto ). She sublimates her desperate sense of entrapment into making "I Don't Want Earl's Baby" pies and a raging crush on her obstetrician (Nathan Fillion ), but the word "abortion" is never once mentioned.
It is mentioned in "Knocked Up ," but the raucous comedy about a young professional (Katherine Heigl ) impregnated by a schlubby bonghead (Seth Rogen ) is acute enough to have it both ways. One of the bonghead's friends advises him to "get it taken care of," and when a second friend doesn't want to even hear the word, the first insists the couple should "go to the schma-schmortion clinic and get a schma-schmortion."
That's how dangerous this subject is in the pop mainstream: The word alone would bum everyone out. "Knocked Up" is honest enough at least to raise the possibility of ending a pregnancy -- a procedure that, last time anyone checked, was still legal in this country -- but it can only speak in code. That the film makes our nervousness into a joke, and one with an edge, doesn't ease that nervousness one bit.
For how likely is its scenario to play out in real life? "Waitress" avoids dealing with abortion because Shelly was more interested in examining the fears and anxieties of mothers-to-be. In "Mr. Brooks," the anti hero's right-to-life stance is offered as a ghoulishly satiric contradiction of his homicidal impulses (and one we're unironically meant to admire in the bargain).
But "Knocked Up"? Let's get real for a moment. An ambitious career woman who has just been promoted into a highly public dream job decides to have the child and form a relationship with the immature slob who's the father? It could happen. It would be nice if it did happen. But it probably wouldn't.
Despite some hand - wringing and hosannas from commentators at various stations of the abortion debate, these three movies don't represent a political sea change so much as a profoundly skittish disengagement from the topic. The religious right hasn't infiltrated Hollywood, but religious people and other audiences with strong right-to-life views do buy tickets, and lots of them. The studios turn out entertainment built to factory specifications, and anything divisive dulls the lathe. When you're trying to please everyone, you can't afford to anger anyone.
This is a step back, though. Films have dealt with the subject of abortion in various ways over the years, even during the classic era. The 1934 Clark Gable hospital melodrama "Men in White " dropped large hints about a nurse's panicked resort to a back-alley procedure, and 1951's "Detective Story " has a subplot about an abortion doctor that's surprisingly frank. "Love With the Proper Stranger " was the "Knocked Up" of 1963, but, tellingly, it's an observant drama that addresses head-on the question of whether Natalie Wood's character should terminate her pregnancy.
In "The Godfather, Part II, " released in 1974 (a year after Roe v. Wade), abortion is used as an instrument of revenge, the worst possible punishment Kay Corleone (Diane Keaton ) can visit on her dead-souled mobster husband (Al Pacino ). By the time of "The Cider House Rules " in 1999, melodramatic sturm and drang still surrounded the subject, but the film's sensibilities were solidly pro-choice, even if the kindly doctor played by Michael Caine was killed off at the end.
There have been documentaries about abortion (HBO's 1996 "If These Walls Could Talk "), art house fantasias (Todd Solondz's 2004 "Palindromes "), even the stray satire: In "Citizen Ruth " (1996), Alexander Payne dared to poke fun at both sides in the abortion wars before chickening out and letting the glue-sniffing welfare mom played by Laura Dern suffer a miscarriage before she could come to a decision.
Much rarer are those movies like "Vera Drake " (2004) that realistically portray the emotional turmoil and hard decisions women actually experience (let alone acknowledge that they may have made the right choice).
Ironically, one of the more honest accounts can be found in a teen comedy: 1982's "Fast Times at Ridgemont High ," in which the freshman played by Jennifer Jason Leigh gets knocked up by a sleazeball (Robert Romanus ) who won't pay for half the abortion or even drive her to the clinic. There's a banal, ordinary sadness to these scenes and their aftermath -- a numbed sense of mistakes made and coped with out of sight of parents and friends.
A similar sensibility pervades Tony Kaye's "Lake of Fire ," only it's real. Toward the end of this remarkable documentary, which is coming off the festival circuit to theaters in October, the director interviews a working-class woman minutes after she has had an abortion. The camera records her pose of tough resilience cracking from exhaustion, stress, and sadness.
The maverick director of "American History X " has made what may be the most honest film yet on the abortion wars. Appropriately, it's nearly unwatchable. It nevertheless demands to be seen by anyone who purports to hold an opinion on the subject, left, right, or center.
"Lake of Fire" shows abortion procedures and their grisly aftermath; the footage is distressing in the extreme and mitigated only slightly by the use of black and white film. Kaye interviews right-to-life extremists, letting their lunacy speak for itself. He locates Norma McCorvey, the "Jane Roe" of Roe v. Wade, now a born-again evangelical Christian and "reformed lesbian," and listens to her story. (In one of the great "reveals" in recent movies, Kaye slowly pulls his camera back from an interview with a right-to-life minister to show McCorvey working at the next desk over.)
"Lake of Fire," in other words, forces audiences to confront what abortion is and what it means to both women who have one and people who oppose it, and it does so in ways that are devastatingly fresh. If the film has a position, it appears to be both pro-life and pro-woman, equally aware of the humanity of a fetus and of the person carrying it.
That's a political paradox, but Kaye very nearly makes it work. At the least, he comes closer to the heart of the matter than all the Hollywood movies desperately looking the other way.