As we reflect on mothers this weekend — stereotypically with ostentatious bouquets and boozy brunches — it’s vital to remember that motherhood is political. Who can become a mother, and who has to become a mother? Film can be a powerful expression of the importance of reproductive choice, and the consequences when people are denied bodily autonomy. Here are some great titles on that subject.
4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (2007)
Winner of the Palme d’Or at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, director Cristian Mungiu’s breakout feature tells the story of two college students in late 1980s Romania who are in search of an illegal abortion. A stressful, heartbreaking two hours sees pregnant Gabita and her roommate Otilia evading draconian laws and confronting the violent cultural misogyny those laws represented. There’s nothing redeeming about their dehumanizing quest, and in the end, both women are irrevocably changed.
After Tiller (2013)
In the US, where abortion is federally legal but restricted on a state by state basis, violence against abortion doctors is a real threat, increasing alongside white nationalist violence. Martha Shane and Lana Wilson’s documentary charts the repercussions this violence has had on reproductive rights. In the aftermath of the 2009 assassination of Dr. George Tiller, there were only four doctors left in the entire country who would provide third-term abortions. The film is empathetic and sensitive, with a deep understanding that a necessary procedure can also be traumatic, and that providing help is courageous.
Citizen Ruth (1996)
After two very heavy options, here are a few laughs courtesy of this bitter comedy. Laura Dern plays Ruth, a young Nebraskan ne’er-do-well who discovers she’s pregnant for the fifth time and facing felony charges for endangering a fetus because of her drug use. Ruth’s body literally becomes a battleground for disingenuous activists, with an inconceivable (to her) amount of money dangling over her choice. The film acutely portrays the cynical public abortion “debate” of the 1990s as a rhetorical football that ignored lived experience.
The settlement comes after Tate prevented an artist who exposed sexual harassment by one of its largest donors from co-curating an exhibition.
Let’s be honest: On a best bathrooms list, no one wants to be number two.
The Newark Museum of Art Presents Jazz Greats: Classic Photographs from the Bank of America Collection
Photographers Antony Armstrong Jones, Milt Hinton, Chuck Stewart, Barbara Morgan, and more capture a breadth of legendary and local musicians and performance artists. On view through August 21.
Advocacy groups are pushing for a 5% royalty in resales, which would pertain even after the artist dies, in which case the funds would go to their estate.
This week, the Getty Museum is returning ancient terracottas to Italy, parsing an antisemitic mural at Documenta, an ancient gold find in Denmark, a new puritanism, slavery in early Christianity, and much more.
Art and photographs, publications from the 19th and 20th centuries, manuscripts, posters and more are set to cross the auction block on August 18.
The absence of an explicit framing of American art, in all of its diversity, as a visual culture of empire distorts and hampers our ability to understand — and reimagine — our social world.
The gap between the material body and the psychological one, which we all too often take for granted, is one of the underlying themes of Hiro’s exhibition.
David Rios Ferreira and Denae Shanidiin join forces to bring awareness to the plight of Indigenous women and girls, and LGBTQ+ individuals.
Metrograph’s series The Process features films that were either directed by Robert M. Young or made with the help of Irving Young’s postproduction facility.
Memes depicting a sinister, all-powerful Joe Biden alter ego are sweeping the internet, and the Democratic establishment is loving it.