the other day I mentioned Lake of Fire, the epic abortion documentary by Tony Kaye, director of American History X. The two and a half hour long movie has played to acclaim from the few audiences lucky enough to see it, but thanks to ThinkFilm more people will have a chance to weigh in on the film.

Kaye proudly proclaims that this film isn’t pro-choice or pro-life, but that it examines the subject from every angle, including using graphic footage of an abortion in process. Once the clips from all of Shawn Levy’s films ends, Kaye shows an actual pregnancy termination as well. Apparently the film is being billed as one that will cause both sides of the abortion debate to carefully consider their opinion, something that ThinkFilm theatrical head Mark Urman sees as particularly vital. "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," he said. "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."

Kaye spent almost 16 years working on the film, and the two and half hours that will be theatrically released were culled from thousands of hours of footage. There’s so much footage, in fact, that Kaye is hoping to put together a longer version for television. The director also thinks that he has the seeds of the next hit show, possibly to be called Scrape or No Scrape. "I’d also love to do a reality TV series about abortion," he said. "There are so many personal stories that didn’t make the cut."

I’m personally passionate about abortion, as it’s a subject I’ve had to deal with in reality and not just in the abstract. I firmly believe in women having the option of abortion open to them for any reason at all, but I also like to have my beliefs challenged in thoughtful ways – not by a retard with a placard showing a bloodied fetus but perhaps by reasoned debate. What too many people on both sides of the ideological spectrum don’t understand is that challenges to your beliefs only help to strengthen them – if they are for real, that is.

ThinkFilm will play the film at a number of festivals before beginning a roll-out in selected cities starting in New York in October.