“Lake Of Fire” is sure to be the most controversial documentary of 2007, if not in the history of cinema – even more controversial than “Titicut Follies.”
Ever since Roe v. Wade, the United States has been deeply divided on the issue of abortion. In that landmark case, an unmarried pregnant woman was refused an abortion in Texas and, with the ensuing judicial challenge, won American women the right to safe, legal abortions. Ever since, proponents and opponents have lined up on either side of the issue, launching verbal abuse; and worse; at each other. As the religious right has increased in size and power in the past decade, the issue has become even more divisive; and violent.
Filmmaker Tony Kaye, best known for “American History X,” has been working on “Lake Of Fire” for the past fifteen years and has made a film that is unquestionably the definitive work on the subject of abortion.
Shot in luminous black and white, which is in fact an endless palette of grays, the film has the perfect esthetic for a subject where there can be no absolutes, no ‘right’ or ‘wrong.’ He gives equal time to both sides, covering arguments from either extremes of the spectrum, as well as those at the center, who acknowledge that, in the end, everyone is ‘right'; or ‘wrong.’ With graphic images of termination procedures and their aftermath, Kaye endeavors to show abortion’s physical and psychological reality; to make clear what exactly is at stake.
“Lake Of Fire”; the film’s title comes from one person’s description of what awaits abortionists in hell (if there is such a place, other than the one we humans live each day on earth); is a brave film, even a monumental one. And whatever you believe now, you are certain to think differently after seeing it.