Going to the movies has become a pretty controversial topic in Canada. With the Canadian debut of Unplanned approaching, abortion advocates have shown up in force. Even the Prime Minister’s chief of staff took aim at the pro-life film, taking the opportunity to fear-monger against the Conservative party, naturally.
Cineplex responded on Twitter: “As a film exhibitor we provide our guests with movie choices. We believe it is up to the public to decide whether they would like to see a particular film and our guests can give voice to their views and opinions at the box office by buying a ticket to a movie or not.”
Basically, they support freedom of speech because, business.
A few days after that tweet, Cineplex shared an open letter better supporting their decision to show the film. President and CEO Ellis Jacob stood behind his company’s decision to show such a controversial film, referencing the kind of nation we would be if we didn’t allow dissenting voices to be heard.
Having this movie shown in Canada is having a significant impact on the public discourse about abortion. Pro-choice politicians and advocacy groups alike are scared. They realize that the abortion movement is built on euphemisms, distractions, and rhetoric. So, they also realize that a film that shows the ugly, horrible reality of abortion has the power to change people’s minds, to upset the status quo that is already on increasingly wobbly legs.
Attempts at censorship, even violent threats to try to stop the showings, has made the film big news, and made more people want to watch it! Unplanned will be shown in only a handful of theatres across Canada, and only for a single week. As movie releases go, that is barely a blip. But supporters and opponents both know how long that week can be.
If you are able, go see Unplanned at the location closest to you! You can find a list of locations where it is playing here.
*A note to use discretion if you’re considering bringing children to this movie. In the United States, the movie was rated “R”, while in Canada the ratings range as low as PG, depending on the province.