Thursday, July 7, 2016

Movie Review: HUSH-Feature Documentary-Topic: Abortion & The Risk Factors For Women

Like many of us the topic of abortion is both a subject we would rather not discuss or even be open to watch a film on the subject.
I was sent this film to watch and review and as any other film I have watched previously, I do so with an open mind.

What we have here is a bold, straight to the point film on abortion, the feelings of the doctors that perform them, the women that have had them--even so far to speak to a woman that owned a abortion clinic from 1977-1983 where she mentions in their first month of "business" of having 45 patients to their last month of having 545. The numbers resonate with her as she witnessed one young woman bleed to death after her abortion.
Eye opening with the stats and the remarks made by some of the women that are at a table with the director of the film sharing their stories of their abortions , heart wrenching to say the least. This is a film that takes not a stand for or against abortion, but instead gives you the viewer some hardcore facts about it and the health factors on the women that are having these procedures done and their overall health.

 I feel this is a film that needs to be seen regardless of where you stand on the issue, as a man I find it shameful that the woman in the majority of these cases are not given proper information regarding the long term affects on them physically and emotionally as well as the possible connection of a fetus aborted and their risk of breast cancer escalates as the woman gets older.

Brenda Major-Psychology States
Abortion does not cause any long term affects on a woman anymore so than a woman that delivered an unwanted pregnancy.
 She also says that not all women feel bad or indifferent or relief etc, as there is a no "one size fits all"

Dr David Grimes States:
There are no long term side affects on women after an abortion.

In the USA there are Informed Consent Laws
35 states require women counseling before abortion.
25 states requires them to let a woman know with the potential of an abortion the risk of future fertility.
22 states mandate mental health affects of abortion on the woman.
5 states & Alaska require them to tell the women of the risk of an abortion and the connection of possible breast cancer.

The filmmakers visited the National Cancer Institute and were asked to leave, more on that later on here.

Another shocking fact:
"By mid career 1in 5 national researchers admitted to changing the design, methodology or results of studies based on pressure from a funding source.
(Source)Hush-Feature Documentary & British Journal Nature(2005)

1980 to 2000
China's breast cancer rate almost doubled because of the one child law --abortions double. 
Denise Mountenay from Canada Silent No More says
Women who had abortions experienced an 81% increased risk of mental health problems.

 Whether or not people discuss this topic at dinner or even at all this
is something that matters to all of us regardless of where we stand on the issue, ultimately I feel it is in the choice of the woman or couple that have that decision to make --not for me.

I feel privileged to have seen the film as it is mostly only showing at festivals right now. It had a screening planned in March of this year at the University of Winnipeg and in my searching for some other info I came across this report from CTV Winnipeg.

I also feel very fortunate as Patricia Chica has given me the opportunity to do an email interview with the producer of the film, 
Joses Martin.

­­What made you want to support this film by funding it , the educational factor alone is hard enough to cover.

As documentary Producers we were drawn to this subject because of the controversy. When you have health organizations saying one thing and women's personal experiences saying another, name calling, political agendas, and media silence - there sure seemed to be an interesting story to be told here, and we felt very lucky to be a part of actually digging up and exposing real health information that seemed to be overlooked or covered up. Not a lot of documentary makers have that kind of opportunity.
What makes one decide what is best to keep or omit from a film such as this, I am sure you had many hours of film to use.

Absolutely. It was painstaking to piece together a film. Even because of the differences of opinion that we had as a team coming from different ideological opinions. We always had to try to come to an agreement in spite of that.
Our main goals were 1. Presenting only the things that we could be sure about and stand behind, and not saying things that we couldn't. And 2. making it easy enough for the audience to follow. There were a lot of scientific trails that we thought that we would cover originally, but when we followed those paths, all it ended up being was bickering between two sides - both sides saying the other side was wrong and idiotic. So to get beyond those politics, we had to find the things that neither side really wanted to look at! For example: the concept that late term abortions are clearly shown to be related to an increased breast cancer risk - both sides knew this, but nobody really wanted to admit it! Why? Because both sides wanted to give a firm "Yes" or "No" answer. If you're saying "No, abortion is not related to breast cancer" then you can't admit that late term abortions are. And if you're saying the flat statement that "Yes abortions are related to increased breast cancer" then you can't admit that early term abortions (6 weeks or under) are not that much to worry about. That's the kind of politics we were dealing with.
­­ Understanding of women's overall health and all when it comes to abortion­­ do you feel this film maybe able to help in the better education put in place to inform women of all ages about abortion?

Absolutely our hope is that this film would pave the way for a new level of reproductive health education for women and men of all ages. But particularly starting at a young age. Even just understanding "my choices throughout my life affect my risk of diseases like cancer" is such an important concept that is too often not communicated to us. Every woman and every person who watches the film is going to be affected a little differently with what applies to them, and I think that's the beauty of it. Whether women have had an abortion themself, consider it as a backup option in case they need one in the future, or even if they never have and never will, there's so much relevant health info in the film, that everyone's going to take away something.
We know a lot about cancer and this point, but if we're not actually communicating what we already know about risk factors, and prevention, than what are we really helping? Where's all this fundraising going? That's the problem I have with this idea of "ending cancer" cancer isn't going to end, because there's never going to be a "cancer vaccine". We can learn to fight cancer better once it comes up - less deaths, that's great! But that's the same amount of cancer cases. The only way cancer is going to be decreased is because we learn to make smarter decisions based on what we know about prevention.
I understand the filmmakers were asked to leave a few buildings upon their arrival and were not told why?

Mostly it was just over the phone and by email that we were denied interviews, but after being refused so many times, we had to try just walking up to one and asking for someone to speak to us. So when we were passing through Maryland on our way from DC to New York, we sent an email to let them know we were coming through and stopped at the National Cancer Institute building to try to get an interview with someone about the subject, but instead we just got escorted off by both security guards and police. We get it, they're hesitant about camera's and terrorists and we didn't have a real 'appointment' with anyone, but it just went to show their lack of openness and willingness to address questions head on. 
 ­I would like to personally thank you for making such a risky film , with such heated debates and arguments alike about the issue did you ever feel this was just too a heated topic to really cover?

Thank you so much, and thank you for having the guts to post about it! Absolutely a heated topic, I think we all felt scared through the whole process. I remember at points Punam actually saying that she felt sick to her stomach with fear. Right now is as fierce a time as any for abortion laws, abortion access - with Texas clinic access cases reaching the Supreme Court, and undercover videos of Fetal Tissue Sale, StandWithPlannedParenthood and DefundPlannedParenthood hashtags, it's a real warzone, and we're jumping right in the middle of it. But we hope to bring something very new to the conversation - respect, love, and unity, for the care and honour of women. I think that that's something we can all get behind, in spite of our various opinions on the morality of abortion.
­ Sharing such intimate and a personal story for all the women involved , but then the director also shares her personal loss and how she struggled with it and moved through it ­­was that her
choice to cover that or was it suggested?

At first we didn't plan for Punam to be in the film at all, but when she found out in the process of researching, that her health could personally be at risk because of the late term miscarriage she suffered, she decided right then that this film had to be from her Point Of View. That was a real twist for us that none of us expected, knowing that she had never had an abortion herself, and I think it was unbelievably courageous of her to make that choice. Both to put herself right out in front like that, and also to share from her heart about her own reproductive health experiences.
 ­How would you like people to approach and watch the film? also tell them about the DVD and the screenings for the film which I personally find quite unique.

We would encourage people to watch the film with an open mind, and remember that at its core it's a women's health film, so it shouldn't be that off-putting. We've worked very hard to eliminate the biases and agenda in the process of the film making which makes this project quite unusual. I don't think I've ever heard of a documentary made by people that disagree with each other!
By visiting our webstie
Hush, you can watch the film online, order DVD's or host a screening yourself in your community! We're releasing the film independently like this because in spite of our attention at film festivals, distributors are generally not willing to take on such risque subject matter, but we know that this information MUST get out, and individuals around the world are anxious to see it.
Here is a video of Joses giving you an idea of what the film is all about.

Here is the trailer for the film below:

If you are receiving this post via email and cannot see the video links go to the bottom of the page and click the link and it will take to the article.

Thank you for reading this
Anthony Nadeau

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