"AKA Jane Roe" filmmaker on Norma McCorvey s authenticity and getting to that "deathbed confession" - Salon
|Salon 23 May 2020 at 03:32|
Earlier this week, it was revealed that Norma McCorvey — better known as the plaintiff, "Jane Roe" from the landmark — gave documentary filmmaker Nick Sweeney a "deathbed confession," admitting she had been paid and coached by members of the anti-abortion movement to publicly oppose legal abortion later in her life.
As Salon reported on Tuesday, McCorvey died in 2017 , but which was directed by Nick Sweeney and debuts May 22 on FX, next day on Hulu. In the film, Sweeney goes deep on all of McCorvey s beliefs and contradictions, from her time as "Jane Roe," to when she dropped that pseudonym in the 80s and became an outspoken advocate for abortion access, to her eventual conversion to evangelical Christianity, after which she renounced her past and joined up with Operation Rescue, one of the most vocal anti-abortion groups in the country.
Sweeney spoke with Salon about filming "AKA Jane Roe" and how he earned McCorvey s trust after an initial rocky start to eventually get the confession and what he learned from the woman whose life subverted all expectations.
So, I wanted to talk about what drew you to this story in the first place because it s one that has had sweeping implications for generations of American women — and you re not either of those.
Well, generally everybody, including me, knows about the case of Roe vs. Wade. It s a huge case that kicked off a very divisive debate that s raged on for decades, but I will admit that I didn t know a great deal about the person at the center of it, Norma McCorvey. The more that I researched about her and read about her life, it left my head spinning. I mean, here was this one woman whose life was so full of contractions and twists and turns, and huge, huge moments. I wanted to try to unravel that and find out what was really going on and who she really was.
She was very enigmatic and quite reclusive at that point in time when I found her, and I really wanted to let her say — in her own words — who she really was, what she really thought and believed in, and also what her legacy was.
Right. I think that s really important — which leads me to wonder, I had read that when you first reached out, it wasn t necessarily super-warm between you guys . . .