Critical Writing on Mass Communication in Canada – Movie “Unplanned”
The movie Unplanned has created a controversy in the cinemas of Canada in the year 2019. The movie is about how a person who supports Planned Parenthood practices and abortion became a stringent believer of anti-abortion practices. The content in this movie are questionable which led some sections to demonstrate that the movie should be banned while others favor the screening of the movie in Canada. The impact of this movie on the film industry of Canada is discussed in detail.
Table of Contents
Abortion practices in Canada 4
Role of Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission 5
The movie Unplanned is scripted that is based on the real-life story of Abby Johnson. This movie shows how Johnson who runs a Planned Parenthood clinic turned into anti-abortion activists. The movie Unplanned revolves around the beliefs of Johnson (Ahearn, 2019). In this movie, it is shown that initially Johnson was a firm believer of the Planned Parenthood; she favored the abortion practices as she understands that the fetus cannot feel any pain. She performed several surgeries and forced people to take abortion quickly by specifying that the cost will increase of the wait more. Her determination and passion made her the youngest ever planned parent clinic director. However, her beliefs changed after two specific events that took place in her life. First, the head of Planned Parenthood pressurizes the staff to increase the number of abortions so as to increase their profits ( Hertz, 2019).The second event was when she assisted the abortion doctor to follow the abortion on the ultrasound. In that ultrasound Johnson saw how the fetus was fighting to save alive and avoid suction. These two events had a profound impact on the life of Abby and shattered all her beliefs’(IMDB, 2019). As a result, she quits her job and advocates anti-abortion practices. She was attacked by the Planned Parenthood people in the court. However, the judgment came in her favor. Although the movie is produced in America yet it has significant impact on the Canadian film market. In 2019, it brought a radical change in the Canadian market.
Abortion practices in Canada
In Canada abortions is not restricted by criminal laws and are safeguarded by the constitutional rights. Abortions are safe in Canada and are performed mainly in the first trimester. In Canada, abortions are quite common .However; it is not accessible by all. Many people mainly residing in remote or rural communities have to travel out of their communities in order to get the abortion done. Travelling to another city and all the expenses that come along with it, these are to be borne by the person , those who cannot bear this cost delays the procedure and this has worse effects (Action Canada for Sexual Health & Rights, 2019).
The controversy in Canada
Individuals or communities, the pro-chic groups, churches and the advocates of anti-abortion grounds wanted that the movie should be banned and must not be shown in the theatres. The critics of the movie suggested that the people who favor Planned Parenthood are cold-blooded and unsympathetic and their aim is only to augment profits. Also, abortion is legal in Canada and a movie that propagates Anti-abortion will significantly impact the perception of viewers. Amidst all the controversy, the film was screened in Canadian Cineplex theaters when the Cineplex leader defended and promoted to show this movie on the grounds that Canada honors freedom of expression and the decision of whether to watch this movie or not to watch should be in the hands of the audience (Ahearn, 2019).
Role of Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
Canadian Broadcasting Act ensures that Canadian broadcasting content satisfies the needs and interest of people in Canada (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, n.d.) The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) specifies the rules and regulation to make sure these objectives are followed by the Canada broadcasting system.
In Canada the rating of the movie varies in each province. In the Alberta region, it received a 14 a classification that suggested that movie has some disturbing content. The movie was given R rating that suggested that it is restricted and can be allowed to be seen by people who are of an above 18 years (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, n.d.). It was given by Maritimes and Manitoba Canada .However, the Cineplex leaders favors the screening of the movie.
Mean World Syndrome
The mean world syndrome is based on the work of the George Gerbner in the year 1970 that suggests that the violence-oriented shown by the mass media persuades the viewers that the world we live in is more dangerous as a result, people seek more protection. People perceive that the world is a horrific place (Annenberg University, n.d.).
People are sensitive and gets sentimental when they see an ultrasound. They form a bond with the embryo. In the movie Unplanned the excruciating pain, the blood and the yelling and how a 13-week fetus is trying to save itself. These scenes are terrifying. Also, the movie Unplanned made people outrageous who are susceptible to extremism and are inclined towards becoming violent.
Coding and Decoding Model
The encoding and decoding communication model suggests the process of how the message is communicated and how it is perceived (Murdock, 2017). The encoding is the means of transferring the thoughts into an effective communication and decoding is the process of interpreting the message and turning the communication back into thought.
The movie Unplanned aims not to blame women for getting abortions, rather the women are shown as the victims that are manipulated by evil planned parenthood staffers , who want to fill their own pockets. The film indicates that the abortion providers will do anytime even risking the life of the patient to make a fortune. The main objective of this film is to showcase that abortion is unsafe.
However, the audience who decoded this movie saw it as hate propaganda. The scenes shown in that movie were heinous. People believed that this movie wanted to show that abortion is a crime and those who practice it were apathetic and callous.
Multiculturalism is followed in Canada. Canada favors cultural diversity and welcomes immigrations. People from different race, ethnicity, class and cultural backgrounds are given equal rights. The main idea is people take pride in their identity.
Everyone has equal right to have access to the best health care facilities irrespective of their immigration status, race, or class. However, these are impacted by the discriminatory and bigotry practices followed by the service providers. The barriers to have access to abortion include Racism, classism, homophobia, ableism, transphobia and others (Action Canada for Sexual Health & Rights, 2019).
The movie Unplanned was a controversial movie in the markets of Canada where abortion is legal. Although, this movie was supported by few members of the society yet it was opposed by many. The main dilemma was to ban this movie for Canadian viewers or to screen it on theatres. This pertains to the fact that this movie revolves around a very sensitive issue and differ countries have different opinion about it. However, the screening of this movie across many theatres indicates the honor of freedom of speech and the favor of beliefs and opinions of various cultures. Unplanned is a controversial movie yet it had impacted the Canadian film market.
Action Canada for Sexual Health & Rights. (2019). Access at a glance: Abortion services in Canada. Retrieved from https://www.actioncanadashr.org/resources/factsheets-guidelines/2019-09-19-access-glance-abortion-services-canada
Ahearn, V. (2019). Cineplex defends decision to show anti-abortion film Unplanned. Retrieved from https://www.cbc.ca/news/entertainment/cineplex-anti-abortion-movie-Unplanned-screening-1.5204611
Annenberg University. (n.d.) George Gerbner Archives. Retrieved from https://web.asc.upenn.edu/gerbner/archive.aspx?sectionID=1
Hertz, B. (2019).Anti-abortion film Unplanned is a disgusting piece of propaganda that may endanger the health of women. Retrieved from https://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/film/reviews/article-anti-abortion-film-unplanned-is-a-disgusting-piece-of-propaganda-that/
IMDB. (2019). Unplanned. Retrieved from https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9024106/plotsummary
Murdock, G. (2017).Encoding and decoding. The International Encyclopedia of Media Effects. DOI: 10.1002/9781118783764.wbieme0113
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