On September 23 it opens in Spanish cinemas the silent scream, a courtroom and hallway conspiracy movie which tells two intertwined stories: how abortion was decriminalized across the united states (the truth of the Roe vs. Wade case) and how the abortion doctor Bernard Nathanson collaborated on ituntil the incorporation of ultrasound technology convinced him of the full humanity of the fetus.
is actually a history movie. It has a lot of history to tell and a clear didactic will, channeled by the voiceover Nathanson, who is commenting on the historical facts. There are a lot of data to put into images and many characters involved to give voice and face.
reminds us of Lincoln, Spielberg’s 2012 film that explained how slavery was abolished in the US, by just two votes, and also bought. Pacts, pressures, signs, arguments…
But in Lincoln there were more factions and maneuvers, while in the case of abortion in 1973 it seems to triumph another variety of banality of evil, of mediocrity, fear of image, bad conscience or just business. Those are the things that move judges and lawyers in The Silent Scream.
Another difference is that Spielberg had 65 million dollars to make his film, and everyone today understands that slavery is barbaric. By contrast, Nick Loeb – leading actor and co-director, who has also put money– has had a tenth of that budget, and many today continue to refuse to see the barbarity of abortion.
The big news in 2022 is that a few months ago the US Supreme Court reviewed the Roe vs. Wade case that decriminalized abortion and was a real judicial absurdity, and gave back to each state the ability to legislate on the subject. Now, the abortionists must convince each state of their thesis to legalize their macabre industry.
Dr. Nathanson and the limits of vision
The common thread of the film is Dr. Nathanson, whom Loeb meritoriously manages to bring to life.. It’s not just his characteristic glasses, but his gestures and tone of voice. Because we know Nathanson, we have seen it in his iconic documentary the silent scream, from 1984, in which he used ultrasound to explain what an abortion is like. It is a documentary that continues to be used in schools and debates.
Y Loeb’s film takes from him the beige colors, the tonal filters, the dirty pastel curtains and walls...there’s a sort of worn sepia veil over the images, as if we’re looking through those fat, old-fashioned Nathanson glasses, his moral blindness, which seems to denounce that time custom shirts hippies of flowers, like something faded, old-fashioned and decadent.
The abortion industry criticized some data from Nathanson’s 1984 documentary, but abortionists have never released their own alternative medical documentary, he has never shown us his version visual what an abortion is like And almost four decades have passed.
Kathryn Moseley, a veteran pro-life neonatologist from Michigan, pointed this out earlier this year in a Catholic weekly: Why On the Internet, the world of infinite images, you can see all kinds of real operations but not abortions?, raised. “If I’m going to have hip surgery, I can go to YouTube or Google and see an open animation of what the actual surgery is going to be like. But you can’t find abortion anywhere. You can’t find it on Google.” You can’t see how your unborn baby is going to be ripped apart, limb by limb, ripped from your womb, and then its dismembered parts are put back together, and if any are missing, they’re going to go back for to remove it,” he pointed out in the Detroit Catholic.
Cinema is image, it is showing. And abortion always seeks not to be seen. It comes through lies, that the silent scream de Loeb documents well. But how much to show about abortion? Seeing the fetus through ultrasound changed Nathanson, after thousands and thousands of blind abortions. In this film we see only a fetus aborted, briefly, and clean of blood.
Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King, has collaborated on the film, which recalls the racist and eugenic origin of the Planned Parenthood abortion bosses and the talks of its founder Margaret Sanger to the women of the Ku Klux Klan.
Elegant ties and beach cocktails
It’s a movie of people who talk: doctors who talk about elegant ties that prick while they poke at a woman who spreads her legs, doctors who speak of “bloody tissue” but who admit that “yes, of course, it has a human form”.
And of organized activists sipping cocktails on the Caribbean beach while bragging about how they lie blatantly to the press with absurd figures that no journalist bothers to contrast, something that the lobby abortionists continue to do. Few days ago a video from 2016 went viral in which the pro-abortion activist in Mexico Marta Lamas admitted her lies: “We used to say ‘a hundred thousand women die from clandestine abortions’. It turns out that a hundred thousand people died in the entire country, men and women from all diseases. We inflated the figures”. They follow Nathanson’s ‘manual’ and the guidance of him, the abortion journalist Lawrence Lader.
The other ingredient that Larry Lader always demanded – and the film makes that clear – is anti-Catholicism, as the repentant Nathanson confessed in his 1983 book The abortion papers, when he says that sought to “use anti-Catholicism as a political instrument, and to manipulate Catholics themselves dividing them and confronting them. The more vigorously the Church applied itself in its opposition, the more the progressive press and political establishment in the Northeast attracted the anti-Catholic line.” (This was published by Nathanson 14 years BEFORE he was baptized, in 1997.)
There’s a challenge in trying to understand nathanson and show it as it was. He was not a psychopath, although he killed thousands of babies without remorse over the years. Even as a student he paid for his girlfriend’s abortion, and later aborted his own child. He was convinced that he “helped” many women and felt compassion for them. He was not convinced of “abortion at any time, for any reason.” He had contradictions. He made a lot of money, but he always said he didn’t do it for money.
There is a scene in the movie where Nathanson confronts God and accuses him of bad things happening that the abortionist has to “fix” with abortions. Is very absurd the argument, but it illustrates the mental chaos of the character, and of many others on issues of abortion and theology.
There are another scene in which he presumes to be “the king of abortion” very proud: that better reflects the banality of evil, mixed with arrogance, of many abortion doctors. And it’s reminiscent of the scene – based on a statement in his books – in which abortionists sing a rude song: “There’s big business / in abortion / with a flick of the wrist…”
In the film we will see Nathanson’s conversion, making it clear that he came many years after reaching his pro-life position. Nathanson became pro-life through science, through ultrasound.
many things to explain
The movie improves and gains pace past the first third, when it fully becomes a court story and relies on good actors in the role of judges, such as Jon Voigt (3 times Oscar nominee and an Academy Award for coming-home [El regreso] in 1978), John Schneider, Robert Davi and Steve Guttemberg. Jamie Kennedy (one of the protagonists of horror-humor films scream) makes us hate the Larry Lader who plays us, though the real Lader looks even more hateful in the actual footage scenes shown at the end -and not to be missed.
Nick Loeb explained that many of the actors who participated have strong pro-life convictions. Others don’t. At least one of the film’s actors became convinced of the truth of the pro-life cause during filming, Loeb said. (although without revealing who it is).
stories of young women
The film does not attack the young lawyers who handled the case, although they make it clear that they lied to young Norma McCorvey (the “Roe” of the trial) in very serious things. They appear as the young, feminine face that the abortion industry and Betty Friedan’s feminism needed to show: a screen for bigger power.
The story of Norma McCorvey, who started it all, is told very briefly. With just a couple of scenes, the actress manages to transmit the complex reality of that girl: his confusion, his vulgar vulgarity, his strong personality and his wounded fragility.
The elements of faith in the story are few. We are shown Father James T. McHugh helping to found the pro-life movement, but his character does not enter into the central plot. As for Nathanson, he was a nonbelieving Jew, and the same Nick Loeb who plays him has a Jewish father.
It must also be remembered that Loeb was a boyfriend for a season of the beautiful and rich Colombian actress Sofía Vergara: They generated some embryos with their genetics, they froze them, and they have been fighting for them in court for years. She, although she declares herself Catholic, wants to destroy them. He wants to give them up for adoption. Both admit that these embryos should not have been produced or frozen.
to understand what happened
This movie It is a must-see for pro-life activists and for people interested in the clash between courts and true justice, as well as for anyone with concerns in bioethics and medical ethics.
It has no sex scenes. There are many scenes of women in gynecological position waiting, part of the abortion “chain productivity”. And buckets of bloody stuff. But only a fetus scene, with little blood. Boys and girls from 11 years old could see it, but it is most effective for students aged 16 and over.