In this BAFTA award-winning film, two-time Emmy and Peabody award-winning filmmaker Deeyah Khan examines the erosion of reproductive rights in the United States, foregrounding the stories of those often forgotten in this ‘war’ who nonetheless find themselves on its frontline: impoverished women and women of color.
United States | 2020 | 65 minutes | Color | English |
In this BAFTA award-winning film, two-time Emmy and Peabody award-winning filmmaker Deeyah Khan examines the erosion of reproductive rights in the United States, foregrounding the stories of those often forgotten in this ‘war’ who nonetheless find themselves on its frontline: impoverished women and women of color. Khan films at abortion clinics which are under siege from fundamentalist Christian protesters, and meets the doctors who face an ever-present threat of violence, even murder, from anti-abortion fanatics. She meets a man convicted of bombing clinics, and the women who face one of the most difficult decisions of their lives in choosing to have an abortion. In his time in office, Donald Trump wooed evangelical Christian voters by enacting anti-abortion policies; and with a political battle raging in the Supreme Court, the right of American women to choose is under threat. Deeyah Khan goes on the frontline to find the people who will be most affected by the abortion wars.
"This excellent documentary had intimate access not only to abortion clinics and the staff who cope with death threats every day (in 2009 George Tiller, the medical director of an abortion clinic that provided late termination of pregnancy, was shot dead in Wichita, Kansas), but the patients too."
"This searing film couldn’t have come at a more pertinent time."
"Gives voice to those rendered silent – women."
"Khan's documentary comes amid rising fears among pro-choice groups that the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade Supreme Court ruling that protects abortion is under threat."
SCREENING HIGHLIGHTS AND AWARDS
- BAFTA Award, Best Current Affairs Documentary
- BAFTA Award, Best Director, Factual Category
- Edinburgh TV Festival Award, Best Documentary
- Best Current Affairs Documentary, Shortlist, Grierson Awards
- Best Foreign Affairs Journalism, Nominee, British Journalism Awards
- Nominee, International Affairs, AIB Media Awards
Documentary director and producer Deeyah Khan has won two Emmys, a BAFTA, an RTS and two Peabody Awards in over a decade of making empathetic and unflinching films which deal with some of the most important and polarizing issues confronting the world today; extremism, violence against women, inequality, racism and social exclusion.
Deeyah has filmed with battle-hardened jihadis, members of armed militia groups, American domestic terrorists and white supremacists, with incisive, illuminating and often surprising results. After she spent over a year filming with members of the United States’ largest neo-Nazi organization, including filming them on their notoriously violent march through Charlottesville in 2017, three high-ranking figures, including the leader, left the movement and rejected its white supremacist ideology. All of them credit their encounters with Deeyah as the catalyst for them to leave the extremist movement.
The Times of London says of her: "She is one of the bravest, most indomitable women... facing down bullies and extremists with intelligence and unflinching spirit.”
Born in Norway to Muslim immigrant parents, Deeyah’s experience of the beauty and the challenges of living between different cultures shapes her creative vision, informing the emotional honesty and humanity which characterizes her films.
Released in 2012 Banaz: A Love Story, her first multi-award-winning documentary, chronicled the life and death of Banaz Mahmod, a young British Kurdish woman murdered by her family in a so-called honor killing. Deeyah's second film, the Bafta-nominated Jihad in 2015, involved two years of interviews and filming with Islamic extremists, convicted terrorists and former jihadis. White Right: Meeting the Enemy, in which she interviewed key figures of the American far right, won her a second Emmy award in 2018. More recently, the BAFTA award-winning film America’s War on Abortion saw Deeyah explore one of the most divisive issues in American politics, while Muslim in Trump’s America charted rising Islamophobia and hate crimes against Muslims against a background of political and online hatred and division. The latter film won Deeyah a second Peabody Award.
In 2010 Deeyah founded her media, arts and education company Fuuse, with the aim of creating space for more inclusive and diverse stories; in 2016, she was appointed the first UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Artistic Freedom and Creativity.
Deeyah is increasingly sought after as an advisor and speaker for her unique insights and her skills in listening- and empathy-based approaches to conflict resolution. Her method of building connections across social, racial, and personal divides, honed over ten years of filmmaking on the frontline, aims to deepen understanding through achieving a recognition of our shared humanity, and building a new way of being in the world based upon our inter-connectivity. (08/21)