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// Films // Democracy on Trial: The Morgentaler Affair

National Film Board

Democracy on Trial: The Morgentaler Affair

Paul Cowan / Canada / 1984 / 58 ' / English


Paul Cowan
Jefferson Lewis
Paul Cowan & Mike Mahoney
Jacques Drouin
Bernard Bordeleau
Alex Pauk
Alexina Louie
Paul Cowen, Adam Symansky, Jefferson Lewis, Robert Verrall & Andy Thomson
Sound mixing: Jean-Pierre Joutel
Sound mixing: Adrian Croll
Narrator: William Hunt

Links & Reviews

Awards & Festivals

1987, Winner, Futura Award, Berlin Festival

Upcoming Screenings

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In Production

A film that looks at the issue of abortion in Canada.


A concise and captivating review of the legal battle waged by Dr. Henry Morgentaler in Québec and federal courts between 1970 and 1976. Through a combination of newsreel footage, interviews, and dramatic re-enactments (in which Dr. Morgentaler and his lawyer play themselves), this docudrama unravels the complexities of the case that began as a challenge to Canada's abortion law and turned into a precedent-setting civil rights case. The film also offers insight into the physician's motivation for defying the law and reveals how our judicial system responded to this emotionally charged challenge of the controversial abortion law.


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