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Vera Drake
Publication Date:
2/1/2006
Pages:
0
Session(s)
1
Product Type:
Internet Download
Adult Study, Adult Study
Product Number:
TC0006

In Vera Drake we see a working-class family for whom abortion suddenly becomes up close and personal.

Vera Drake is a cheerful woman who revels in being useful in every way she can to her family and neighbors. And, we discover, she helps strangers as well. It is 1950, and in England abortion is still a criminal offense, but Vera never thinks about this. She obviously knows it is illegal because she never tells her family about her practice, not even her beloved husband of twenty-seven years. When the family does learn about her practice following her arrest, they are shocked, angry, and puzzled. One of them is even unforgiving for a while.

The film is as much about a family and the importance of forgiveness/reconciliation and staying together as it is about abortion. The writer/director does not present any impassioned arguments for or against the practice. He just shows us one person who thinks that she is helping women with no place else to turn in the midst of their troubles.

Because of the controversy over abortion, the group should proceed with caution in discussing the clips from the film. The members should remain faithful to the publicity stating that the film is about a person who is an abortionist and some of the women whom she helps and not about abortion itself.

As with the other films discussed in the Thoughtful Christian, the group will watch a few scenes that are packed with insight and meaning. It would be best if everyone would see the entire film before the class meets, but this is not necessary for participants to profit from the study.

Edward N. McNulty is the author of Praying the Movies and Praying the Movies II, both available from WJK. He is founder and editor of Visual Parables, a monthly review newsletter, and was coeditor of Real to Real, a film quarterly for youth.


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