What images do we associate with abortion and why? Where do these images and the emotional scripts in our head come from? How do they influence women who (want to) have an abortion, how do they shape the general discussion? Franzis Kabisch’s personal desktop documentary investigates these questions with great precision, clarity and humour (yes, humour, too!).
In the process, she moves from early 2000s girls’ magazines to the late 19th century, sifts through troves of feminist knowledge and checks alleged cultural-historical facts (such as the discovery of hysteria in women) that haunt conventional wisdom to this day. At the end of the film, we have not only seen an exemplary examination of image politics and how they contributed to pushing the issue of abortion to the social sidelines and linking it with shame and guilt. Franzis Kabisch manages, almost “in the same breath,” to break up the false hubris of the documentary and demonstrate that the evidential value of filmic and photographic “testimonies” must always and implicitly be scrutinised. Ultimately, “cui bono?” – the question who profits, must be considered in every media-critical reflection – not just in the age of stock photos, editing software and AI but, strictly speaking, at the start of every documentary image production.