“After Tiller” is an intimate and heartfelt look at the four doctors performing third-trimester abortions in the United States, doing so even after the 2009 assassination of such a physician, Dr. George Tiller. Directed by Martha Shane and Lana Wilson, who spent almost three years on the project, the film brings an emotional clarity to an issue in which every nuanced turn of phrase has been made politically complicated.
At the film's premiere Friday afternoon at Park City, Utah's Temple theater, visible security measures were in place, including police and armed sheriffs in green jumpsuits. Attendees had to have their bags searched and were checked by guards with hand-held metal detectors.
“What’s interesting is that the four doctors really are proud of what they do,” said Shane during a phone interview from Park City on Thursday morning. “They don’t feel they are working in the shadows. They’re brave enough to let the world know they do third-trimester abortions, they are public about it. I think part of the reason they agreed to participate in this film was actually to show that they are proud of the work that they do, it helps women and alleviates suffering.”
Late abortions make up less than 1% of all abortions performed in the United States, yet they are a frequent part of the debate over abortion rights. It was small discoveries like that which drew the duo to the subject.
“I feel like our generation has been really alienated from the abortion debate,” added Wilson. (Both filmmakers are 29.) “It’s just become a shouting match. We wanted to make something that would show the complexity and the gray area. The gray area over this issue is where real women are making real decisions about their lives.”
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