Lake Of Fire Tony Kaye

Here’s an uncompromising documentary from an equally uncompromising director, Tony Kaye (remember the American History X fiasco?). And it’s about everyone’s favourite high school debate topic: abortion. Yay!

Fifteen years in the making, Lake Of Fire is a decently objective exploration of the abortion debate/abortion laws in the United States. Though aspects of the film seem slightly dated, it interestingly handles the many grey areas of the topic with big issues like the fallout of the landmark Roe Vs. Wade case and the growing hypocritical trend of murdering abortionists. Kaye’s lean seems to be Pro-Choice, but he actually does a stand up job interviewing key players from both sides without always making the Pro-Lifers come off as Christian fundamentalist cartoon characters, for the most part.

As a warning, the film is brutally graphic and doesn’t spare any visual details of what goes on in those little clinics past the protestors. The only reprieve, and it’s a slight one at that, is the fact that it’s shot in black and white so we’re spared from viewing bits of foetus in glorious Technicolor.

Baby bits aside, Lake Of Fire is tough to take in its current state. For one, it could use some editing. Clocking in at nearly three hours, it’s obvious that Kaye (as primary producer, cinematographer and director) is trying to be as thorough as possible with a difficult subject. Which is fine. Problem is, the film is non-stop talking head interviews backed by a gratingly melodramatic operatic score (as if the subject matter doesn’t convey enough emotion as is). The few times the movie deviates from that, we get some neat historical protest footage, some news reels and a genuinely disturbing Pro-Life propaganda video, all of which could be used to better effect.

With some retooling before a proper release, Lake Of Fire could actually be interesting enough to make Kaye the controversial director he so desperately wants to be. (Anonymous Content)