Films Showing

Where Are My Children?

Where Are My Children?

Where Are My Children?

1916 / 62min / DCP

DIRECTOR: LOIS WEBER, PHILLIPS SMALLEY

Inspired in part by the 1915 sensational trial of suffragette and birth control activist Margaret Sanger, this five-reeler co-directed by Smalley and Weber—the latter the pre-eminent female director in America when it was released—puts the abortion issue at center stage with the story of an crusading District Attorney (Tyrone Power Sr.) trying to nail a doctor for obscenity for distributing birth control literature, unaware that his own wife has been a regular with the local illegal abortionist. While hardly unambiguously pro-choice in the modern sense—the debate is framed by problematic eugenics—Where are My Children? offers a scathing assault on male hypocrisy and shows women unashamedly discussing abortions amongst themselves. Most importantly, it found a ready audience—it was Universal’s biggest moneymaker of 1916!

Presented with an Intro from Caryn James, Film Critic (BBC) Saturday, March 14.