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24 Weeks (24 Wochen)
  1. Waltraud Maierhofer
  1. Professor of German, International Programs, Department of German, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA;

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Director: Anne Zohra Berrached. Authors (screenplay): Carl Gerber, Anne Zohra Berrached. Germany, 2016. 103 minutes. UK film release: January 2017. UK DVD release: March 2017

“Women's rights are human rights, and human rights are women's rights”, Hillary Clinton told the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing, September 1995). Yet 20 years later she was accused of being a murderer for speaking in favour of legal late-term abortion in her presidential campaign. Her response was nuanced and expressed compassion for women facing the medical realities that drive a late-term abortion. It is a decision that is all too often glossed over or portrayed with tired stereotypes in modern media.

The German film, 24 Weeks, innovatively and convincingly shows the difficulties of such a decision: bombardment with advice, data, and opinions from all directions, the rollercoaster of emotions, and the unforeseeable impact on even the happiest couple and family. It avoids simplistic moralism and focuses on the decision at hand. 24 Weeks premiered at the 2016 Berlinale film festival to much critical acclaim and has since won several awards.

One of the film's strengths is the exquisite performances. Astrid (Julia Jentsch) and Markus (Bjarne Mädel) are a well-off, happy and loving couple and parents of a …

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