Review: ASK FOR JANE

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First time feature director Rachel Carey’s Ask For Jane is a narrative drama that could not be more timely in its release. The truth-based story centers on the Jane Collective, an underground group of Chicago University 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.

Scripted by Rachel Carey and Cait Cortelyou, who also stars, the film focuses on several key women who are composites of the actual Janes in the original collective. Correlyou and Cory Horn lead an ensemble of actresses who convey the riskiness and the emotional immediacy of the situation — and the convictions of their characters.

With the recent enactment of anti-abortion legislation in Alabama, Georgia and Missouri and the likelihood that more states will follow, women’s right to choose and access to safe abortions is so seriously threatened we may all have to become Janes in the near future.

Ask For Jane is low budget. The production values aren’t always as slick as they might be, but the script is sensible, the performances are brave and believable, and the film has true merit in that it very effectively tells a hellova compelling story and, in doing so, broadcasts quite an alarming wake up call for movies-that-matter audiences.

Ask For Jane is a must see film for women and for the men who truly love and respect us. It is essential viewing for those of us who were around pre-Roe v Wade and who fought for abortion rights and for younger women who’ve benefited from that struggle and are now at risk of having to go through the fear and anguish associated with being denied the right to choose.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Ask For Jane is AWFJ’s Movie of the Week for May 31, 2019

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