Private Project

The French Pill, a Revolution for Women

In 1982, Prof. Etienne Baulieu’s discovery of the abortion pill triggered intensely passionate debates, seven years after the law legalizing abortion. Long years of a fierce battle would ensue until it was actually made available to women.
Immediately targeted by the pro-life movements, the abortion pill became the focus of a virulent ban campaign, never on scientific or medical grounds but on religious, or ideological ones. So much so that ideological concerns even prevailed over the intellectual property owner’s financial interests. A paradox indeed.

In France today, as well as in Germany, Italy, Spain, or in the US, women’s rights activists are rallying to challenge vociferous and often highly organized oppositions.

Why would a medical abortion be so controversial? It is a less invasive and brutal procedure which can be initiated earlier and at a lesser cost than surgery.

In the end, it all comes down to the issue of the rights of women to have control over their own bodies and a final say on reproduction.

  • Charles Castella
  • Ted Anspach
    2013/ « Fundamentalism, is there a way back? »/ FRANCE 5 52’. Co-written with Sophie Jeaneau. Effervescence Doc. Documentary about deradicalization shot in France, UK and Pakistan. 2012 / “ L'Amour sans le faire” (working title) / M6 100'. Zone Interdite. Documentary about sexual deprivation in France and abroad. 2011 / “ Polygamie : au cœur de l'interdit” / M6 70'. Codirected with Sophie Jeaneau. Ligne de front. Documentary about polygamy nowadays in France, Morocco, the US and Canada. 2010 / « India’s Fight Against AIDS » / ARTE Selected for FIGRA (International Festival for General News Reporting and Social Documentaries) in 2011 52’. Codirected with Sophie Jeaneau. Doc en stock. Documentary shot in the country hardest hit by the pandemic in the world as for the number of infected people. 2010 / « Sex, drogue et rock’n roll : Londres capital des extrêmes » / M6 70’. Ligne de front. The hidden side of London, especially « Londonistan». 2009 / « Manufacturing Propaganda» / ARTE 52’. Premiered in February 2010. Doc en stock. Dangerous vaccines, 9/11… How do rumors spread? Documentary about conspiracy theorists.
  • Simone Halberstadt Harari
    Effervescence’s founding President Simone Haberstadt Harari brings to the industry a lot of experience. Prior to creating Effervescence in 2005, she founded Télé Images in 1984. A strong believer in eclecticism and refusing to lock viewers into predefined genres, she famously produced Maguy, the very first French sitcom, which remained on the air for 8 years; the French adaptation of the game show format Going for Gold; groundbreaking documentaries (more than 40 documentary specials and more than 20 documentary series); animation; as well as entertainment magazines. Her acknowledged expertise in the television area led Simone Harari to participate in the French Government Commission for the Future of Publicly-funded Television in 2008. In addition to having been named an Officer of the Légion d’Honneur and a Commander of the National Order of Merit, Simone Harari is the author of La Télé Déchaînée, published by Flammarion in 2009.
  • Simone Halberstadt Harari
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    L'autre pilule, un combat pour les femmes
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    52 minutes
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Distribution Information
  • Effervescence
    Country: France
Director Biography - Charles Castella, Ted Anspach

2012 André Glucksmann, Praise of the Thistle. 52’ documentary. ‘Empreintes’ collection. Codirected with Marie de Poncheville. Produced by Effervescence.

2010 Abderrahmane Sissako (Une fenêtre sur le monde). 55’ documentary about and with Abderrahmane Sissako. Produced by Caïmans Production, CinéCinéma and TV5.

2009 Daniel Pennac, Crab’s Metamorphosis. 52’ documentary. ‘Profile’ collection’. Produced by Docside and France 5.

2008 L’institutriste. Film de 25’. Caïmans Productions. APCVL (French Centre Val de Loire Region’s Production Workshop) with Elina Lowensohn. Selected for the Côté Court festival (Pantin).

2004 La fille du loup maigre. 42’ film. Produced by Caïmans Productions. Codirected with Alice de Poncheville. Selected for: Côté Court festival (Pantin), Fenêtres sur Courts (Dijon), Cinéastes de demain (Centre Pompidou), People’s Choice Award at Paris Tout Court.

2003 Un souvenir de Claire Coums. 21’ film. Produced by Orange and Artcam. Grand Prize for Best Screenplay at the Paris Tout Court festival. Codirected with Alice de Poncheville.
The Marche, Italia. 45’ documentary. ‘Voyages, Voyages’ collection for Arte. Produced by Momento!.

2002 La cinémathèque oubliée. 52’ documentary.

2001 Scalpel. 9-mini-fiction series for ARTE. Produced by Momento!.

2000 Marseille. 45’ documentary. ‘Voyages, voyages’ collection for Arte. Produced by Arcapix.

99/98 La vie est dure, nous aussi. Fiction Feature film.
With Laurence Côte, Fabienne Babe, Alice de Poncheville and Charles Castella. Produced by Compagnie des films and Canal+. Selected for: ACID Program in Cannes Film Festival, Toronto. Grand prize at the Les Œillades festival (Albi).

1997 Petite Météorologie (7 histoires de temps). 28’ fiction and documentary. With Laurence Côte, Alice de Poncheville, Abderrahmane Sissako, Aurélia Petit and Sandrine le Berre. PROCIREP (Producers Society) Prize. Selected for the Internation Short Film Festival (Clermont-Ferrand), Tous Courts festival (Aix en Provence). Awarded at the Côté Court festival (Pantin). Aired on France 3.

1992 Une Rencontre. 20’ film adapted from Emmanuel Bove.
With Cristophe Odent, Marina Golovine and Dominique Valadié.
Selected for the International Short Film Festival (Clermont-Ferrand), Dignes-les-bains festival, Tous Courts festival (Aix-en-Provence). Aired on France 2.

1991 Street Wise. 52’ documentary about British musician Fred Frith in Marseille. Selected for the Florence festival. Aired on France 3.

1990 Marie tombée des nues. 45’ black & white film.
Represented the city of Marseille at the Biennal of Young Artists.

1988 La bonne aventure. 26’ fiction. Produced by the ENSAD. Grand prize at Grand prix at the Toulon festival.

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