After filmmakers encountered a series of roadblocks in its release and distribution, a new movie about notorious Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell opened its limited theater run last weekend with a top 10 showing.
According to Box Office Mojo, “Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer,” starring Dean Cain, showed on 673 theaters and brought in more than $1.2 million.
Leaked emails show NPR demanded a narrow scope in which an ad for the film could describe “Gosnell.”
Filmmakers argued the limitations made it difficult to adequately describe the plot of the movie, which is billed as “the shocking true story of the investigation and trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell — his 30 year killing spree and the political and media establishment that tried to cover it up.”
Other entities have distanced themselves from the project, including the crowdfunding site Kickstarter, which ended a fundraiser launched by the movie’s producers.
According to the film’s director, however, the script is more focused on facts than ideology. Despite his own status as an outspoken conservative, Nick Searcy said his latest movie is just a true-crime story at its heart.
In a recent LifeZette interview, he said filmmakers “did not want to make a polemical movie” in telling the story of Gosnell and his trial.
“I have always despised and rejected movies that tried to tell me what to think about a given story, rather than just telling me the story and letting me decide,” Searcy said.
In an effort to achieve that goal, he said, he pushed to “excise any elements that could be considered ‘fictional.'”
The result of a balanced look at the divisive topic, Searcy said, ultimately made the movie more entertaining.
“I also saw no use in a movie that only one side of the heated debate about abortion could stand to watch,” he said.
Searcy said the finished script reflects the vision of those behind this film.
“We did not make a pro-life movie or a pro-choice movie,” he said. “We made a movie about a crime that happened. No matter what side you are on, you can watch this movie.”
He further explained that he doesn’t consider the film to be “a faith-based movie, although it certainly does not denigrate people of faith.”
Instead of taking sides, Searcy said, the film “tries to tell the truth about a very controversial subject that has become something that people who oppose each other on the issue cannot have a reasonable conversation about.”
In the end, he acknowledged there is much more to this project than mere entertainment.
Admitting that some of his previous acting jobs have been “downright silly,” Searcy — looks at “Gosnell” as a weightier work.
He called it “an important, unique film about an event that modern-day Hollywood would not go near.”
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