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“October Baby” – Great New Movie Chronicles Journey of an Abortion Survivor

April 5, 2012

Spurned by Big Studios, ‘October Baby’ is Box Office Hit

 
Amazingly, at the front page of the New York Times, “Film Inspired by ‘Abortion Survivor’ Is Quiet Hit“:
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As mass entertainment goes, the abortion debate does not typically count as good Saturday-night date movie fare; the subject rarely makes it to the mainstream multiplex. But at a time when the issue is once again causing agitation in political circles, a small film, “October Baby,” about a woman who learns she is, as the movie puts it, a “survivor of a failed abortion,” is making a dent at theaters across the country.

The movie, the first feature by a pair of filmmaking brothers from Birmingham, Ala., opened the same weekend as the chart-topping “Hunger Games,” but with the backing of evangelical groups and churches, “October Baby” managed to open at No. 8 and, through Sunday, had made $2.8 million, more than three times its production budget. It is expected to move to more than 500 screens on April 13.

Distributed by Samuel Goldwyn Films and the Sony-owned Provident Films, which specializes in socially-conservative religious fare, it benefited from the kind of grass-roots religion-focused marketing (enlisting Bible and prayer groups and ministries) that has carried their other Christian-oriented movies, like “Fireproof” and “Courageous,” to box-office success.

But those films did not center on a lightning-rod topic like abortion. “October Baby” tells the story of Hannah, 19, a home-schooled Baptist who is told by a doctor that her ailments — asthma, seizures, moodiness — are the result of being born prematurely after an abortion attempt.

Hannah sets out to find her birth mother, a quest that ends in tears and, ultimately, a lesson in forgiveness delivered by a Catholic priest.

It was inspired by the story of Gianna Jessen, who says she was delivered alive at a California clinic after a late-term saline-injection abortion. As a paid speaker at anti-abortion events she tells of her struggles and medical conditions. (The film doesn’t get into the science, but a 1985 study published in Obstetrics & Gynecology examined  33,000 suction curettage abortions and found a failure rate of 2.3 per 1,000 at the 12-weeks or earlier.)

Though “October Baby” arrives at a moment when reproductive rights and women’s sexual health are again part of a robust national debate, its makers say they weren’t acting with a political agenda.

“I was just dumbfounded by a true story,” said Jon Erwin, 29, a co-writer and a producer of the movie, which he directed with his brother Andrew, 33. “I didn’t see it as a political issue.”

This is interesting.

More at the link.

Apparently, some of the big movies studios wanted nothing to do with the film, obviously since movies like this are a stake in the heart of the pro-choice abortion industry. The first paragraph of Jeannette Catsoulis’ review at the New York Times reveals, really, all you need to know about the reaction on the left:

More slickly packaged than most faith-based fare, “October Baby” gussies up its anti-abortion message with gauzy cinematography and more emo music than an entire season of “Grey’s Anatomy.” But not even a dewy heroine and a youth-friendly vibe can disguise the essential ugliness at its core: like the bloodied placards brandished by demonstrators outside women’s health clinics, the film communicates in the language of guilt and fear.

All that for a movie about the real-life survivor of a botched abortion. That ought to tell you something.

Jill Stanek has more: “All about “October Baby”.”

 
From American Power Blog: http://americanpowerblog.blogspot.com/
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