Lake of Fire – 8/10

Harrowing and extremely graphic abortion documentary from the director of American History X


Notoriously difficult British director Tony Kaye spent 18 years putting this astonishing documentary together so it is no surprise it is a compelling and polarizing piece of work. Both sides of the abortion debate would probably claim this mammoth two and a half hour documentary is biased against them but in truth Lake of Fire is as impartial as a film could be on a subject that inspires such strong feeling. Fundamentalist pro lifers may claim it portrays them in a bad light with extensive coverage of the death and destruction these people have caused to others working in abortion clinics but at the other end of the scale the pro choice campaigners would no doubt call the graphic images and videos of the abortion procedure and aborted foetuses gratuitous and unnecessary. The truth is the only way to try and put forward an unbiased view is to present all the information – no matter how inflammatory and gruesome – so people can make up their own minds.

I went into this film staunchly pro choice and whilst I totally stand by that view point, I can now emphasize with the pro life crowd a lot more than before I saw this film and if a piece of art can make you question something you care deeply about then it is definitely doing its job. On that subject this is a very arty documentary. There is no narration, it is filmed in striking black and white and constantly scored with dramatic strings and with such a long running time it might be a bit much for some people.
Enjoyed is the wrong word but I thought this was a really well put together and thought provoking documentary and I would say if this is a subject you already feel strongly about you should watch Lake of Fire.

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