Given the controversial, politically sensitive nature of the subject matter, there may be a narrow window of opportunity for moviegoers to view one of the most thought-provoking films to come along this year.
All who are weary of frivolous, condescending and predictable scripts should see the movie “Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer,” which arrived in 750 theaters nationwide on Oct. 12 and was #10 on the weekend box office ranking of movie receipts.
The Marcus Eagles Landing Cinema at Lake Ozark was the only location offering this incredible movie, for it was not shown in Jefferson City, Columbia or Fulton theaters.
That “Gosnell” was actually produced and distributed is nothing short of miraculous, considering Hollywood’s intractable advocacy for all things abortion, as well as the creative, circuitous course the producers had to follow in order to bring their film to fruition.
The moviemakers’ perseverance in producing and disseminating to the public this honest, engaging motion picture is akin to the dogged determination shown by the movie’s prosecuting attorney and detective when faced with the dilemma of how to pursue truth and justice without questioning the “sacred cow”‘ of abortion rights.
The movie describes the trial of Kermit Gosnell, an abortionist who operated a clinic in a low-income area of Philadelphia.
The 2011 grand jury report called Gosnell’s clinic a “house of horrors,” and it stated: “This case is about a doctor who killed babies and endangered women. What we mean is that he regularly and illegally delivered live, viable babies in the third trimester of pregnancy — and then murdered these newborns by severing their spinal cords with scissors.
“... This business was a filthy fraud in which he overdosed his patients with dangerous drugs, spread venereal disease among them with infected instruments, perforated their wombs and bowels — and, on at least two occasions, caused their deaths.
“Over the years, many people came to know that something was going on here. But no one put a stop to it.”
Shockingly, Gosnell operated his clinic with impunity for 27 years because of abortion politics. The Philadelphia Department of Health, swayed by an order from former Gov. Tom Ridge, frequently failed to inspect and refused to shut down Kermit Gosnell’s clinic despite the many complaints filed against the abortion clinic and its provider.
Ironically, the clinic’s unsanitary and unsafe practices were not the reason for its final demise; the suspicion of illegal prescription drug trafficking led to the clinic raid and closure.
As much as this movie is about a renegade abortion-provider who performed illegal, late-term abortions, its real focus is on the women and babies he murdered — babies who were born alive and killed by a grisly practice.
The movie never directly addresses the injustice of taking a human life, but one powerful scene’s dialogue shows what little difference there is between what abortionist Gosnell did and what is legally performed on babies who are less than 24 weeks gestation in the womb.
The superbly acted “Gosnell” has a factual flavor, despite its focus on the plight of pregnant mothers, the pain endured by aborted babies, and the inner turmoil of the clinic staff.
A refreshing aspect of this well-paced motion picture is that, unlike most Hollywood fare, it does not tell the audience what conclusions to draw from the facts presented.
Without preaching, sermonizing, demonizing or exposing the viewer to shocking visuals of dead babies, “Gosnell” exposes the abortion procedure for what it truly is — an inherently violent and gruesome act.
Not only does the film accurately portray the facts in the horrendous case of the deranged Dr. Gosnell, but it also educates the viewer about the mechanisms of inducing abortions and how the procedure is legislated, practiced and regulated.
Because of media support for “a woman’s right to choose,” the tainted nature of the abortion industry has not been unmasked for the popular culture. The members of the media egregiously failed to follow the truth wherever it may lead when they initially chose not to cover the Gosnell trial during its proceedings.
This glaring omission is movingly presented in the film. The courtroom seats, reserved for the agencies of mass communication during the trial, remained empty day after day until journalists were shamed into attending the trial of abortionist Gosnell.
Some movie critics believe that the “Gosnell” filmmakers erred in not showing a graphic photo of Baby A — a photo that was pivotal in the movie’s development and crucial evidence in the actual trial.
Seeing the image of Baby A would have left a lasting impression on the viewer, but considering the courage it took to brave pro-abortion hostility in order to present an unexaggerated and unvarnished movie about a contentious issue, the moviemakers’ decision seems wise.
Emotional appeals and graphic imagery are not a part of the movie. A quest for truth and transparency are what make “Gosnell” both riveting and provocative.
I challenge anyone who identifies as pro-choice or pro-life to remain unmoved after watching “Gosnell.”
Mrs. Krautmann is a retired nurse and a member of Cathedral of St. Joseph parish in Jefferson City.