The business of birth control reunits Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein at DOC NYC
Nearly 15 years after the seminal documentary The Business of Being Born examined the birth experience in Western medicine, filmmakers Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein are reuniting to take on womens reproductive health.
The report, titled "The Business of Birth Control," which premiered Thursday at DOC NYC, is described as a fearless look at the movement to reexamine the pill - as young women start to weigh adverse side effects and more nebulous consequences of the same drugs our grandmothers did.
The project arrives in an instant and contentious debate about access to abortions across the country, and public figures like Britney Spears fight for body autonomy (the pop stars assertion she had a forced IUD was largely backed up by her ongoing conservatorship battle).
One of the most successful works is to educate women with information. I am a lay person, I'm not able to learn the truth, but we're still looking at the same medicine from years ago. My hair loss is major and most of my birth control was attributed to the birthcontrol for decades.
Epstein, who credits with Lake include the cannabis-centered Weed the People, said the film opens up a conversation about the historical ties between women of color and birth control.
The film shows the racist history of these drugs. As we did research, we discovered that this opens a different wound for women of color, and sterilized and used as guinea pigs to invent the pill, particularly for Puerto Rican women in early FDA trails. Many modern gynecology is built on the backs of slaves, said Epstein.
The film will be a virtual title from DOC NYC, and will premiere on Nov. 14 at New Yorks SVA Theater in Chelsea. A release is expected for 2022, followed by re-release of The Business of Being Born.