MIFF: Call Jane
Elizabeth Banks and Sigourney Weaver star as activists providing abortions and a lifeline to desperate women prior to Roe v. Wade.
August 1968, Chicago. Suburban lawyer’s wife Joy learns that if her pregnancy continues, she could die of heart failure. But in Illinois, abortion is considered a felony homicide. Her request for a therapeutic abortion denied, Joy follows the advice of the mysterious flyers hailing anxious women in her predicament: “Call Jane.” Soon, she finds herself drawn into the underground Jane Collective and, with her feminist consciousness awakened, she joins the Janes in helping women end unwanted pregnancies safely.
Banks gives a career-best performance as Joy, while Weaver shines as Janes leader Virginia in this Golden Bear–nominated drama from director Phyllis Nagy, the screenwriter of Carol. Based on the trials and triumphs of the real-world Janes movement, Call Jane is a story of optimism and empowerment – one with a percipient eye on the way that intersectional issues can complicate a collective struggle. Now that abortion rights are once again threatened in the US, Call Jane reminds us not to be complacent about the fight to secure reproductive autonomy.
“Combines passion, urgency and wit … Call Jane is about what it takes to come to that realization about true liberation, and what it means to see it through.” – The Wrap