Carrie's Choice (2005)
Writer/Director: Jane Clark
Producers: Jane Clark, Bob Tourtellotte
Production Companies: FilmMcQueen Productions
Cinematographer: Adam Tash
Composer: Claudia Sarne
Genre: coming of age
US Leads: Tiffany Michelle, David Fumero, Marquita Terry, Edith Fields, Victoria Profeta, Julia Huffman, Mark Craig, Elizabeth Goldstein
CARRIE'S CHOICE had a successful festival run with several nominations, one award and was a finalist in the USA Film Festival.
Carries Choice is the story of a woman in her late 30's, nine months pregnant, with a loving husband and successful career. She is looking back to when she was a 19 years old, facing a difficult decision. In the spring of '97 Carrie had just been awarded a prestigious overseas scholarship to study architecture in the fall. She was head over heels for Ted, a cute actor. But when she relies on the pull out method and becomes pregnant, she must consider all her options and make a decision that could change her life forever.
by Jonathan W. Hickman
Carrie is pregnant. And she's going to have the baby.
Filmmaker Jane Clark's new short film "Carrie's Choice" will no doubt be demonized by Pro Life advocates that will call it in "Pro Abortion." But the magic of this short film is that it can be interpreted either way. Employment of the Intelligent Design buzz word "Critical Analysis" to complicated issues often results in ambiguous answers. The irony is that an answer is supposed to settle the matter and by its very nature be clear and unambiguous.
The abortion debate has no clear answer regardless what side you're on. Remember the 2004 Presidential campaign in which the Bush Administration's official position on abortion provided two instances in which an abortion would be approved: (1) If the life of the mother was threatened; and (2) If a rape was involved. Without addressing the first instance, the second one is suspect and would create much difficulty in crafting proper guidelines. Would a "date rape" type situation be excluded?
Controversy aside, "Carrie's Choice" is ultimately an entertaining short film whose funding origins (Women Make Movies as a fiscal sponsor and Planned Parenthood providing in-kind resources) made the filmmaker get creative to satisfy somewhat specific guidelines. Since the partial budget came from a non-profit source, filmmaker Clark was careful to weave a message into the story she told on screen. The message is unabashedly one favoring a woman's right to choose to have an abortion or not to have one. But the choice aspect is introduced in a way that raises questions intelligently as to what that choice ought to be.
Following Carrie both as an older adult and in flashbacks as a young adult, the choice issues in the film are presented and discussed smartly. In the flashbacks, the younger Carrie is a fun-loving attractive girl who has fallen for a handsome boy. This young Carrie works part-time as a waitress and is a full-time college student who has just landed a once in a lifetime scholarship to study abroad. Meanwhile, in the present, the older adult Carrie is on the eve of having a child. The emotions associated with the coming birth cause her to reminisce with her former roommate from college. The flashbacks are fun because they make good use of 1980s music and fashions at the same time subtly introducing the deeper issues of safe sex and pregnancy.
In flashback, we learn that Carrie did not play it safe in the bedroom with her then boyfriend yielding predictable results-pregnancy. The conflict for the young Carrie is whether she should keep the child or have an abortion so that she can take the scholarship and study overseas. It isn't a contrived situation, rather, one that will resonate on serious levels with the film's young target audience. Sadly, the controversy surrounding the issues will keep the film from being shown to high school students in the educational arena. It is my opinion that the conclusion of this mighty fine short film could support either position if critical analysis is applied and the debate permitted to flow freely amongst teens who do not want to be dumbed down and patronized.
Some problems have complicated solutions.
Jonathan W. Hickman