Democracy on Trial: The Morgentaler Affair

Democracy on Trial: The Morgentaler Affair


                                    Democracy on Trial: The Morgentaler Affair
| 58 min
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Paul Cowan's film captures the spirit of the legal battle over abortion waged by Dr. Henry Morgentaler in Quebec and in federal courts between 1970 and 1976. Using a combination of newsreel footage, interviews and re-enactments, this docudrama unravels the complexities of the case that began as a challenge to Canada's abortion laws and turned into a precedent-setting civil rights case.

This film deals with mature subject matter. Viewer discretion is advised

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Credits
  • director
    Paul Cowan
  • editing
    Paul Cowan
  • producer
    Adam Symansky
    Jefferson Lewis
    Paul Cowan
  • executive producer
    Robert Verrall
    Andy Thomson
  • script
    Jefferson Lewis
  • cinematography
    Paul Cowan
    Mike Mahoney
  • sound
    Jacques Drouin
  • sound editing
    Bernard Bordeleau
  • sound mixing
    Jean-Pierre Joutel
    Adrian Croll
  • narrator
    William Hunt
  • music
    Alex Pauk
    Alexina Louie
  • cast
    Gabriel Gascon
    Henry Morgentaler
    Mike Morgentaler
    Michael Rudder
    Lisa Schwartz
    Claude-Armand Sheppard
    Jacques Thisdale
    Gwen Tolbart

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  • SamuelLeBlanc

    While no reason was given for the sudden change in access, thank you for making it available. It was a very instructive and well-made documentary.

    SamuelLeBlanc, 26 Feb 2012
  • SamuelLeBlanc

    Why can I not be the 4,259th viewer? I've even tried to purchase the film via the usually efficient download option, but alas, this is to no avail. I was under the impression that NFB wanted us to see all their films, including the controversial ones. Is there some information that I am missing?

    SamuelLeBlanc, 15 Feb 2012
  • epistolary@myway.com

    So, it wasn't until sometime after 1976 that our society changed changed one of its dictatorial procedures into a democratic one. It's a good example of government picking around to find any exception to normal procedure, even exceptions flying in the face of their own democracy so as to get their ambitions through. The scene near the end, by the fence, is very direct when the reporter speaking like some blunt-headed simpleton says, but "you broke the law" and Morgentaler corrects the poor man with "no, you see I was acquitted by a Jury." And then the reporter responds but then a judge overturned that, without realizing the whole legal issue at play was that we can't have a single judge overturn a jury.

    epistolary@myway.com, 3 Mar 2010
  • epistolary@myway.com

    So, it wasn't until sometime after 1976 that our society changed changed one of its dictatorial procedures into a democratic one. It's a good example of government picking around to find any exception to normal procedure, even exceptions flying in the face of their own democracy so as to get their ambitions through. The scene near the end, by the fence, is very direct when the reporter speaking like some blunt-headed simpleton says, but "you broke the law" and Morgentaler corrects the poor man with "no, you see I was acquitted by a Jury." And then the reporter responds but then a judge overturned that, without realizing the whole legal issue at play was that we can't have a single judge overturn a jury.

    epistolary@myway.com, 3 Mar 2010