Abortion is a really touchy subject, and you have to be careful how you talk about it. Some see it as murder while others believe that it ought to be a viable option for those going through what may be an unwanted pregnancy. On a personal level I am totally pro-choice, what a woman decides to do about her pregnancy is entirely up to her and I would hate it if they were forced to bring up children they couldn’t support or risk their own lives simply because abortion is unavailable. In 2010,Lindsey Ellis (of Nostalgia Chick fame) produced a documentary looking at her own personal experience of abortion and her journey towards figuring out what exactly she feels about abortion.
In the fall of 2009, Lindsay Ellis, a 25 year old graduate student, made the decision to terminate her first pregnancy, finding the decision much more difficult than she anticipated. The A Word deals with Ellis’s views on abortion and how she deals with her own choice.
The A Word is a really strong documentary and a great deal of that has to do with Lindsey Ellis herself, she manages to express all the emotion; the pain and the self-doubt that something like an going through an abortion brings up and does a wonderful job of creating a thought-provoking and relatively in-depth documentary. Having known of Ellis and seen many of her videos, I was shocked to find out some of the stuff she went through and it probably does help if you’ve known of her for sometime before watching The A Word, simply because it does make it that little bit more personal. In a way, it’s strange to say that because Ellis’s main message is pretty much that her choice shouldn’t affect you personally, it was her decision and she alone has to get through it. Watching this documentary made me feel slightly ashamed. One of Ellis’s main points is that the abortion debate fails to focus on helping women who have actually had abortions, in fact, she argues that women who’ve had abortions are being used for an agenda by both sides of the debate. When I was watching the movie, I thought a great deal about this and realised that, yeah, I’m more pre-occupied with fighting pro-life supporters rather than focusing on the actual people involved and that made me feel ashamed. If a documentary can do that and make you re-evaluate your views then it’s doing something right. I don’t know whether that’s something that a lot of people have regarding the abortion issue, but if The A Word has that effect on even a third of the people who watch it then it’s totally worth it.
Hell, even the tagline is good!
If I had one problem with the film then it would be the length. The A Word works so well and it gets its message across just perfectly, so when the film ended after about 30 minutes I was still wanting more. From what I’ve heard, I think The A Word was made as part of a film school project and they had a cap on the length, so I guess I can’t fault it too much. If anything, wanting the film to be longer is a compliment. There isn’t really too much else to say about The A Word, it’s just a great documentary and I whole-heartedly recommend it to everyone, regardless of their views on abortion.
A strong, thought-provoking documentary with an emotional story at its core; a very intelligent movie made by a very brave and intelligent young woman. I only wish it was longer.