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Dublin: 7 °C Saturday 22 February, 2020

Story of late-term abortion doctors in USA set for Irish film festival

Stranger Than Fiction festival in Dublin will see Irish premiere of controversial documentary, with one of the doctors to attend the screening.

Dr Shelley Sella, who will travel to Dublin to take part in a Q&A following the screening of After Tiller.
Dr Shelley Sella, who will travel to Dublin to take part in a Q&A following the screening of After Tiller.

A DOCUMENTARY WHICH follows the work of the only four doctors in the USA who perform late-term abortions is to have its Irish premiere next month.

The film’s title, After Tiller, refers to Dr George Tiller, the former medical director of Women’s Health Care Services who was murdered in 2009 by an anti-abortion activist.

He too had provided late-term abortions – for women who discovered late in their pregnancies that their foetuses had severe or fatal birth defects. He also performed late-term abortions for women who had been certified by at least two other medics as being certain to suffer “substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function” should they carry a baby to full term.

Dr Tiller had had his practice firebombed and been shot previously by another anti-abortion activist before he was finally murdered by Scott Roeder four years ago.

After Tiller chronicles life for the four remaining doctors in the USA who offer similar services as Tiller did. The film will show as part of the Stranger Than Fiction Documentary festival in the Irish Film Institute (IFI) in Dublin, which runs from 26 to 29 September.

One of those doctors, Dr Shelley Sella, is to attend the screening and will answer questions in a Q&A session hosted by journalist Keelin Shanley afterwards, on Saturday, 28 September.

The IFI said that the filmmakers Martha Shane and Lana Wilson “encourage the audience to make up their own minds on this provocative issue but challenge them not to judge”, and points out the topicality of the issue for an Irish audience fresh from the emotive debate of our own recent abortion legislation.

View the trailer for After Tiller:

via FilmFestivalVideos/Youtube

Also featuring at Stranger than Fiction is The Great Hip Hop Hoax, the rather more light-hearted tale of how two Scottish lads ended up fooling the music industry into believing they were a red hot rap duo from California – and how their street cred imploded when their secret came out. Other docs showing include Leviathan, an award-winning depiction of life aboard a deep-sea shipping trawler, Dublin premieres of Irish films including the story of a Belsen survivor – Close to Evil - and the Cuban Missile Crisis, called Here Was Cuba.

The festival also features the world premiere of the Irish Fim Board’s Reality Bites documentary series, as well as panel discussions to give tips and insights to documentary makers and lovers.

See IFI’s Stranger Than Fiction line-up here>

What will Ireland’s new abortion law change?>

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