Autumn In New York (Film Thoughts: Never Rarely Sometimes Always)

nrsaBefore the global pandemic, I had planned to see Eliza Hittman’s ‘Never Rarely Sometimes Always.’ It was the weekend before everything shut down, and I thought to be overly cautious and not go. I am glad it came out on VOD, and I am glad to see it because the film is quietly powerful.

I have always supported a woman’s right to choose what to do with her body, but obviously sometimes my religious roots show up. But I would never judge someone, and in fact have friends who have terminated pregnancies. The film is about Autumn (Sidney Flanigan) as a pensive teenager who is pregnant. She finds out that she cannot have an abortion in the state of Pennsylvania without parental consent so she, along with her cousin, travel to New York City to get the procedure done. Once she is there, she goes through all the hoops both in the system and because of their limited resources. I found a lot of scenes very painful to watch but never felt that Hittman was doing it just for melodrama – everything felt natural and we never really see them hit a sort of bottom – she gets a lot of support from health care professionals which I bet is mostly the case in these situations. Flanagan is fantastic, able to show the frustration and naivet√© of a teenager. One look at her and you can feel everything she is going through. This is a very important film to see, and I hope a lot of people do.

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