Monday, 11 July 2016

REVIEW - TRAPPED (DAWN PORTER)


Nothing too dramatic, no attention-seeking, no embellishments. Nothing but the truth. Dawn Porter's Trapped is thus perhaps more similar in tone and content to an extended, and especially empathetic, piece of investigative journalism than it is to many other movies - nothing new either, then. Porter's film is an argument, or one side of an argument, the only side worth sitting on yet far more often trampled on. This smart and sensitive filmmaker could do with sharpening up her arguing skills, though, but her intelligence and the film's effectiveness are never called into question. Centring on the battle to uphold both the legal and moral rights to abortion, rights which the U.S. legislature is determined to erode altogether, Trapped takes a perspective that's commonly ignored in the struggle: that of the professionals whose job it is to provide this essential care for frequently desperate women. Both showing and telling, Porter's approach is thorough, her subjects are engaging, their stories compelling. If the message of her film is obviously apparent to all inclined to receive it, Porter nevertheless overlooks its crux, in spite of her general attentiveness in other regards - little mention is made of the innate misogyny in the Pro-Life campaign, nor the innate sense in the Pro-Choice campaign. It's possible that Porter considered these points simply so self-evident as to be moot, but observe the remarkable lack of sense and sensitivity both in the American religious right, and the scrupulousness of other areas of this film, and it seems an oversight. Likewise, the blatant support shown by natural law. But maybe these were disregarded as embellishments. After all, the best way to make an argument is to stick to the point. And that, Trapped does. It's nothing but the truth, and nothing short of essential as a result.