Sounds of Cinema

Southern Minnesota's Local Source for Film Music, Reviews, and New Release Information

Lake of Fire


April 5, 2011


Somsen Hall Auditorium
Winona State University

On April 5, 2011, Sounds of Cinema sponsored a screening of the documentary Lake of Fire on the Winona State University campus.

Called "an enormous act of social conscience" by Time Out New York, "a significant piece of journalism" by Film Journal International, and "the most prismatic film ever made on the subject" by The A.V. Club, Lake of Fire is a sweeping exploration of the abortion debate. The film includes interviews with such diverse voices as political commentators Noam Chomsky and Alan Dershowitz, bioethicist Peter Singer, Roe v. Wade plaintiff Norma McCorvey, columnist Nat Hentoff, Operation Rescue founder Randall Terry, law professor Douglas Kmiec, and attorney Sarah Weddington. Rather than appealing to one side of the issue or the other, the film is a caricature of the abortion debate itself, exploring the vicissitudes of a difficult topic. In the process, Lake of Fire forces its way past familiar and deep-rooted talking points and connects the abortion debate to broader issues such as our regard for the value of human life, conceptions of individual freedom and communal good, the way religious rhetoric impacts discourse, and the appeal of mass movements. By the end, Lake of Fire not only characterizes the abortion debate but also provides a look into what the debate reveals about who we are as a people. Lake of Fire is an important, provocative, and challenging documentary that is mandatory viewing for anyone with a stake in the abortion debate as well as those trying to understand what the debate is really about.

The episode of Sounds of Cinema following the screening included guest commentary on the film by activists on the abortion issue as well as faculty members from Winona State University. To download the audio, click here.

To read an essay on the significance and meaning of Lake of Fire, click here.

Below are links to essays, reviews, and videos about Lake of Fire.