New Short Film Features Quirky Indie Lovers Dancing in Underwear, Abortion

If you have some time today, check out this short film called Obvious Child from Gillian Robespierre about a one night stand that results in pregnancy and abortion, featuring Jenny Slate, of SNL (and f-bomb dropping ) fame.

The film presents a subversive alternative to the Juno model, in which abortion is a quickly glossed over road-sign on the highway from CasualSexville to Babyland.

It’s something of a relief to see a short, snappy, and funny film that deals with abortion head on, without ignoring, exoticizing, de-politicizing, or otherwise undermining the idea and reality of abortion as a political right, a medical procedure, a health outcome, and of course a woman’s experience.

Plus, the main characters have a quirky indie likability, even if their relative privilege goes unchecked throughout the piece (the film makes no consideration of the costs related to abortion, doesn’t even attempt to address the obstacles to abortion so many women face in the US and all over the world, and includes some potentially offensive ableist language.)

Despite its flaws, I appreciate the film for telling the story of one woman’s abortion experience in a relatable way. I generally think boiling hot political topics down to the human level is a good thing, and that’s something this film does quite well. Though I should add that I personally find the real thing a lot more valuable. For more on stories about abortion from real women, please see related posts below.

If you’re interested in more opinions on the film, Sarah Seltzer of RHRealityCheck has a roundup of reactions from the blogosphere, which range from amusement to praise to “meh” criticism.

Related posts:
What makes for a good abortion?
Not Oprah’s Book Club: Abortion and Life
And be sure to check out Courtney’s coverage of Jennifer Baumgardner and Gillian Aldrich’s documentary film, Speak Out: I Had an Abortion.

Brooklyn, NY

Lori Adelman started blogging with Feministing in 2008, and now runs partnerships and strategy as a co-Executive Director. She is also the Director of Youth Engagement at Women Deliver, where she promotes meaningful youth engagement in international development efforts, including through running the award-winning Women Deliver Young Leaders Program. Lori was formerly the Director of Global Communications at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and has also worked at the United Nations Foundation on the Secretary-General's flagship Every Woman Every Child initiative, and at the International Women’s Health Coalition and Human Rights Watch. As a leading voice on women’s rights issues, Lori frequently consults, speaks and publishes on feminism, activism and movement-building. A graduate of Harvard University, Lori has been named to The Root 100 list of the most influential African Americans in the United States, and to Forbes Magazine‘s list of the “30 Under 30” successful mediamakers. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Lori Adelman is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Partnerships.

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