#SUNDANCE: “CALL JANE”
By Mr. Will Wong
Set in the late ’60s as Chicago is about to witness a major political upheaval sparked by the assassination for Martin Luther King Jr.. CALL JANE tells the story of Joy (Elizabeth Banks), whom after becoming pregnant, faces a life-threatening condition. She decides to get an abortion, but is faced with great obstacles. She is able to find the support of the Jane Collective, an underground group of women who support one another in their fight for women’s rights and safer abortions. We see in Joy’s own abortion how risky the procedure is. Directed by Phyllis Nagy, whom wrote the Screenplay for Carol, the Film takes us back to a time of revolution when women demanded to be heard in their right to make decisions about their own bodies, and took matters into their own hands when they weren’t being heard.
The Film explores the dynamics of Joy’s life at home in her marriage to lawyer husband Will (Chris Messina) and how her growing involvement with the Jane Collective begins to present challenges in their relationship. This at a time when a wife is expected to be home for her family unconditionally. We also see bonds form in the collective among these women united in their values and a key figure in this is charismatic Virginia (Sigourney Weaver). From here, we really see Joy begin to find her greatest purpose as her world expands and mind opens.
Joy is our guide into the era in which the story is set and the secretive nature of the work that the Jane Collective do. In her, we feel and see the obstacles women faced and the weight they bore at the time (and still do), and Banks delivers an engaging, accessible performance in the lead role. This Film should makes a timely statement in the ongoing dialogue about women’s reproductive rights and deserves to be seen.
See CALL JANE at Sundance as follows:
- JAN. 21 7:45PM EST Available Until Jan. 21 10:45PM EST
- SECOND SCREENING – JAN. 22 10:00AM EST Available Until Jan. 25 10:00AM EST