Lake of Fire | Movie Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Lake of Fire


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Tony Kaye (American History X) worked on this abortion documentary for 17 years, a period that encompassed both the wave of violence against clinics in the 90s and the incremental advance of legislation recriminalizing the procedure. But Kaye's real achievement is less historical than ethical: he plunges into the irresolvable question of what constitutes respect for human life, finding strange bedfellows among people who are pro-life (Pat Buchanan, Nat Hentoff) and pro-choice (Noam Chomsky, Alan Dershowitz). Along the way Kaye interviews people whose lives have been transformed by the issue, including Paul Hill (executed in 2003 for murdering a clinic doctor) and Norma McCorvey (once the plaintiff in Roe v. Wade, now a committed pro-lifer). You may not leave the theater having switched sides, but you'll probably respect the other side more, and that in itself would be a victory for human life. 152 min. a Gene Siskel Film Center. --J.R. Jones

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