Experiencing Interruptions?

An Undue Burden

A pregnant woman checks into a modest hotel room where she awaits her abortion procedure for twenty-four hours. Cycling through periods of activity and stillness, the woman begins to unravel with each passing hour, revealing the emotional and psychological depths of her experience. Veiled by the private room, we see the female body as a contested site, her isolation transforms the mundane into a living taboo. With minimal spoken dialogue, the woman’s gaze and actions function as a narrative driver, allowing the story to unfold of a woman in negotiation between her independence and confinement. The film is intended to be displayed in public spaces so that the community at large is confronted with the experiences of thousands of women every day across America.

  • Jex Blackmore
  • Jex Blackmore
  • Ben Friedman
  • Sofia Bonami
  • Joan Lorraine
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    24 hours
  • Completion Date:
    August 1, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    10,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Ann Arbor Film Festival
    Ann Arbor, MI
    United States
    March 4, 2021
    North American Installation Premiere
    Off Screen! Program Selection
Director Biography - Jex Blackmore

Jex Blackmore is an interdisciplinary artist and activist. Her work, which is focused on the relationship between moral religious rhetoric, sexuality and political policy, takes aim at institutions of social and sexual oppression. She has been featured in numerous publications such as TIME magazine, Vanity Fair, Washington Post, VICE, NPR, Cosmopolitan, and Salon. In 2015, she organized the largest Satanic gathering in history to unveil The Satanic Temple’s Baphomet monument, which was featured on CNN’s "This is Life with Lisa Ling." She also partnered with A24 films to present a four part performance tour entitled “The Sabbat Cycle” to reify feminist underpinnings of the film, "The Witch." Her reproductive healthcare advocacy has ranged from disrupting anti-choice demonstrations using gallons of milk and writing about her personal abortion experience in the viral blog entitled, “Unmother”. Her work is also featured in the upcoming Magnolia Pictures documentary, "Hail Satan?," which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2019.

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Director Statement

Reproductive health access is subject to volatile partisan politics influencing the availability and accessibility of services that impact the lives of millions of women. This is particularly true in 2019, at a moment when reproductive rights hangs in the balance of a new Supreme Court majority. Each year, independent and state-funded organizations launch aggressive media campaigns intended to influence public opinion about reproductive health through a particular moral lens. Often, policymakers respond to these public campaigns, passing legislation that both benefits the political careers of legislative sponsors and reinforces the divide between those directly impacted by these policies. An Undue Burden asks us to reconsider the impact of these laws, in particular, state-mandated waiting periods prior to an abortion procedure. Instead of getting caught up in the debate between ‘pro-life,’ and ‘pro-choice,’ the film focuses on the lived experience of women who are forced to comply with this law. Do mandated waiting periods accomplish what they are intended to do? Do we have a moral responsibility to consider the burden this places on women? Can we even begin to understand the woman’s experience with her story nearly absent in the political debate? This film is intended to place the public in a position to reckon with these questions.