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"Lake of Fire" in ThinkFilm's Landscape

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British filmmaker Tony Kaye is no stranger to controversy. His 1998 neo-Nazi drama American History X might have launched Edward Norton's career, but it stunned audiences and critics with its brazen take on the subject matter.

That was Kaye's last feature film, until he premiered Lake of Fire at the Toronto International Film Festival in September. The two and a half hour documentary is a 360-degree look at the abortion debate, a project Kaye financed on his own over its sixteen years in production. ThinkFilm, the studio that put Spellbound and Born Into Brothels into theaters, just picked up the graphic doc that cost $6 million to make.

In '98, Kaye butted heads with New Line Cinema over American History X. He wanted final cut and, oddly, to change his directorial credit to read "Humpty Dumpty." Mark Urman, head of U.S. theatrical distrib at ThinkFilm, doesn't see the same issues with Lake, and his enthusiasm about the project is evident. "We loved the movie we saw in Toronto," he said.

What is so provocative about 'Lake of Fire' is not that it refuses to take a point of view on abortion but the way it shows how we are victimized by a sense that what we believe is more important than what others believe...It's an illness that plagues our society, and the result of people acting on a sense that they are right and others are wrong can be seen in the Middle East, in Africa and many other places.

The film takes a no-holds-barred approach to dissecting the abortion issue in America. Footage of procedures, doctors killed for performing them, and interviews with the likes of lawyer Alan Dershowitz and activist Randall Terry all made it into the final epic cut. Of the hundreds of hours of footage that didn't make it in, Kaye'd like to take it all to TV. "There are so many personal stories that didn't make the cut," he said.

ThinkFilm plans an October release.

Posted by on February 20, 2007 12:46 PM
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