I watched the documentary Lake of Fire last week. A week later it is still permeating my thoughts. In fact, it is the stunning ending and closing image that bothers me the most (in a good way).
It is very graphic, leaving no question in the viewer's mind that abortion kills babies. Tiny, human beings with hands, feet, faces, mouths, noses, eyes. But this film doesn't embody a pro-life view. You will be exposed to a picture of a woman who died in her hotel room after attempting to perform an abortion on herself with a coat hanger. You will hear the arguments from the pro-choice side.
Critics have hailed this documentary as being balanced and weighing in on both sides of the argument equally. I think it does that and just when I thought to myself, "Yes, but what about..," my question was addressed.
I came away still fully convinced that abortion is wrong but with the somber realization that the issue is not as black and white as those on either side of the issue like to make it out to be. The film is in black and white but if the medium is the message, the film is not "black and white" at all: it is filled with shades of gray (it'll tell you that on the back of the cover) and I think its message comes across loud and clear. Both sides would do well to listen to each other a little more intently before making a barrage of arguments in favour of their position. Both sides would do well to ask more questions of each other.
Where this documentary was deficient was that it's depiction of the pro-life movement was very American and very extreme. It would have done well to portray those who do make efforts to help women with unwanted pregnancies such as Heartbeat International. It would have done well to interview a woman years after her abortion and share her regrets. It would have done well to interview those who are pro-woman and pro-life and seek to educate about the physical and emotional toll abortion takes on a woman years later. There is one scene that is rather vulgar and out of place that it would have been best left out. Fast forward through that. Otherwise, this film may go a long ways to opening people up to more intelligent, level-headed conversations about abortion and moving us toward some real solutions that would have both sides cheering.