THE JANES – Review by Martha K Baker

The Janes fills in women’s reproductive history. The revealing documentary, The Janes proves — if there were any doubt — that sisterhood is powerful. Sometimes the sisters have to go underground. Sometimes they have to develop a network of whispers and will. Sometimes they have to break the law and risk jail, but they do — all for the sake of their sisters.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK June 3, 2022: THE JANES

It would be nice if Tia Lessin and Emma Pildes’ documentary The Janes could be viewed strictly as part of the historical record — a detailed account of “how things used to be.” But with women’s right to choose still under relentless attack and Roe v. Wade seemingly on the brink of being reversed, this film about a group of young women who worked tirelessly in the late 1960s and early ’70s to help provide access to safe illegal abortions couldn’t be more timely.

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THE JANES – Review by Jennifer Merin

Filmmakers Tia Lessin and Emma Pildes’ compelling documentary is a deep dive into the lives and labors of a group of extraordinarily brave, generous and socially conscious activist women, collectively known as Jane, who worked clandestinely in Chicago to help women terminate unwanted pregnancies at a time when anyone seeking, facilitating and/or conducting abortions faced criminal charges and long term imprisonment.

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THE JANES – Review by Liz Whittemore

Filmmakers Tia Lessin and Emma Pildes’ documentary The Janes comes at a time of continued turmoil in women’s health care. With the leak of the Supreme Court’s opinion on Roe Vs. Wade, the likelihood that American women will be living in Margaret Atwood’s fictional world of Gilead doesn’t seem so farfetched. While disgusting anti-abortion bills pop up in Red states across the country, forced birth is on every woman’s lips. With this very predicament before them in 1969, a group of savvy and brave women calling themselves “The Janes” decided to protect their own.

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THE JANES – Review by Leslie Combemale

Co-directors Tia Lessin and Ema Pildes remind viewers of the importance of knowing our collective history in their timely new documentary The Janes. The film profiles the Jane Collective, a fearless, radical group of underground activists that believed in reproductive freedom, and came together to aid women of the pre-Roe V. Wade era in getting safe abortions. Between 1968 and 1973, they were able to make 11,000 safe abortions happen, when, without them, long term negative consequences or death was a distinct possibility for those who sought to end their pregnancies.

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CALL JANE (Sundance FF 2022) – Review by Leslie Combemale

Call Jane is inspired by the work of the underground activist group Abortion Counseling Service of Women’s Liberationl. From 1968 to 1973, the group helped thousands of women to get pre-Roe V Wade abortions. Directed by Phillis Nagy, the film stars Elizabeth Banks as suburban housewife who becomes involved helping members of the organization, aka The Janes, after they helped her to end a life-threatening pregnancy.
Several documentaries and narratives have told the story of these women or used the organizaation as a backdrop, but Call Jane has the highest profile yet, featuring A-list talent that includes Banks, Sigourney Weaver, Chris Messina, Kate Mara, and Wunmi Mosaku.

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THE JANES (Sundance FF 2022) – Review by Leslie Combemale

Co-directors Tia Lessin and Ema Pildes remind viewers of the importance of knowing our collective history in their timely new documentary The Janes. The film profiles the Jane Collective, a fearless, radical group of underground activists that believed in reproductive freedom, and came together to aid women of the pre-Roe V. Wade era in getting safe abortions. Between 1968 and 1973, they were able to make 11,000 safe abortions happen, when, without them, long term negative consequences or death was a distinct possibility for those who sought to end their pregnancies.

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CALL JANE (Sundance FF 2022) – Review by Lauren Anderson

Call Jane tells the story of sisterhood among a group of women aptly called “The Janes.” They provided abortions at a time when an all-male Supreme Court forbade women from getting them legally. The film is set in the late 1960s, but the story couldn’t be more timely today with the Supreme Court considering rolling back what Roe v. Wade accomplished.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK May 31, 2019: Rachel Carey’s ASK FOR JANE

Movies don’t get much more timely than Ask for Jane, director Rachel Carey’s earnest, fact-based feature film debut about a group of young college women in pre-Roe v. Wade Chicago who formed the Jane Collective, an underground organization that defied current laws and risked criminal prosecution to help women with unwanted pregnancies secure safe medical abortions.

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ASK FOR JANE – Review by Jennifer Merin

Rachel Carey’s Ask For Jane is a narrative drama that could not be more timely. The truth-based story centers on the Jane Collective, an underground group of Chicago co-eds who helped their peers and other women to terminate unwanted pregnancies during the late 1960 and early 70s, at a time when the law defined abortion as murder. Believing in a woman’s right to choose, the Janes put their own lives on the line, risking serious jail time, in their commitment to the cause, to guiding women through a most difficult decision and to providing them with safe and reliable medical care.

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