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Stories of A

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Shot in Paris in 1973, this feminist film on the fight for abortion rights was banned as soon it was released. A large-scale game of hide-and-seek ensued, as activists created an underground distribution network, hiding the film from the police — and creating an effective model for cinema as an act of civil disobedience in the process.

Faced with a tide of illegal abortions leading to death and sterility, a group of doctors decided to offer abortions for free, and to be public about it. Charles Belmont and Marielle Issartel originally set out to make an educational film about the movement. Instead, they created a feature-length feminist classic.

In STORIES OF A, we sit in on meetings with women and doctors, and witness abortions being performed. The film also takes us into the streets, as women demonstrate in front of hospitals, facing police repression. Perhaps most importantly, STORIES OF A amplifies the voices of women seeking abortions: a high school girl living in a shelter, two Algerian women who already have numerous children. And then there is Aïcha, an outspoken disabled immigrant woman on a hunger strike, who opens and closes the film.

Recently restored, STORIES OF A is both a fascinating historical document, and a reminder of the critical importance of access to abortion.

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