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The long arm of the Empress

Women have always been faced with the situation that at least one of their pregnancies were unwanted and they wanted to end it. The decision for an abortion fell and falls mostly out of concern that they or the couple could not sufficiently take care of this or existing children. On this fundamental need of women to decide for themselves how many children when they want to give birth, states have responded very differently. From the efforts out to have as many subjects, women were usually forced with various measures to stage all pregnancies. Regardless of whether they saw themselves in a position to discharge the pregnancy and the upbringing of the child. For this contrast between the needs of women and the authoritarian power of demonstration states unimaginable tragic scenarios and often also deadly consequences for the women concerned were. These situations are portrayed in the film 'The Long Arm of the Empress' from the perspective of various witnesses authentic interior. Affected by the prohibition of abortion, originally introduced by death of Empress Maria Theresa, two women tell their very impressive abortion under illegal conditions. But also other points of view are presented: an elementary school teacher from the Lungau describes the situation in the country, a former primary clinic a woman describes the unimaginable conditions at the hospitals. And the granddaughter of an "abortionist" tells how she grew up with the theme and (unsuccessfully) was taught by her grandmother. But the film does not remain in the past, but rather draws a line in the present and shows how far the 'arm of the Empress' still enough that restrictions in access to contraceptives and abortion remain in force, in which extent women, but also men in the self-determination of their sexuality and fertility are still regulated by state intervention and the RC Church and what political forces still preach a medieval society model of total submission. The film is so important, because we need some knowledge of the past to understand the present and the current discussions, and to it to plan a future that is understood in sexuality as an expression of mutual love and affection and in every born child can feel as wanted, accepted.
  • DirectorSusanne Riegler
  • AuthorSusanne Riegler
  • CameraAndrea Schulz-Grocholski, Susanne Riegler, Darek Lisiecki, Werner Hertel
  • MusicMelissa Coleman-Zielasko
  • produced bySusanne Riegler
  • CountriesAustria
  • GenreDocumentary
  • Year2012
  • Length64 min
  • TopicAbortion
  • FormatDVD (Colour)
  • LanguagesGerman
  • Website http://www.derlangearmderkaiserin.at/dvd-bestellung/

  • Genre Documentary
  • Year 2012
  • Length 64 min
  • Topic Abortion
  • Countries Austria
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