Posted on Monday, February 1st, 2010 by David Chen
Documentary filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady have previously demonstrated their ability to present controversial issues and people in an even-handed way. Their 2006 film, Jesus Camp, which documented a Pentacostal summer camp for children, was praised for the way it revealed the indoctrination of children by the religious right. But that film’s subjects actually stated that they had no problems with they way they were depicted, a testament to Grady and Ewing’s efforts towards verisimilitude.
The pair had a new film at Sundance this year called 12th & Delaware, which chronicles the people who work at an abortion clinic in Florida and the local religious members that try to thwart them (the title refers to a street corner where the abortion clinic and a church clinic are located opposite each other). The footage that Ewing and Grady were able to get is remarkable, and while they successfully capture the fervor on both sides of 12th & Delaware, it’s the footage of the clients that is truly stunning, as they were able to film people in the process of making one of the most potentially important decisions of their lives. As with their previous films, 12th & Delaware is illuminating and infuriating in equal parts, but always a movie that feels both well-made and fair.
After the break, my interview with Grady and Ewing, in which we talk about how they made 12th & Delaware, the reception of Jesus Camp, and their exciting next project.