Lake of Fire

American History X director tackles abortion

Lake of Fire
"Lake of Fire" does something with the volatile subject of abortion that neutral observers and even political partisans can appreciate: It offers a wide representation of perspectives and opinions. For the most part, producer/director/writer/cinematographer Tony Kaye (who also made "American History X") does his best to rattle every viewer's convictions yet ensure no one feels left out of the argument.

Perhaps nobody watching "Lake of Fire" (the title refers to the hell that many believe awaits all sinners) will change their opinion. But most will be engrossed by the movie's intentional unpredictability. There's no guessing what, or who, is coming next. Many antiabortion advocates will applaud Kaye's graphic close-ups of aborted fetuses, with their clearly human features, and the considerable screen time given to such diverse personalities as Randall Terry, founder of Operation Rescue, and Norma McCorvey, best known as the Jane Roe of the landmark 1973 Supreme Court ruling, who switched her allegiance to the antiabortion side. (The movie, 17 years in the making, was filmed in black-and-white, perhaps to soften the shock value of those fetuses, but it also establishes a rather astringent clarity to the film.)

And pro-choice viewers no doubt will enjoy those observers (including liberal cultural critic Noam Chomsky) who call attention to what they consider the hypocrisies of abortion foes, including the idea of advocating the sanctity of life yet supporting the "assassination" of doctors who perform abortions. They'll also approve of the movie's coverage of the trial, conviction and execution of Paul Hill, who shot and killed John Britton, a doctor who performed abortions. But all sides should be moved, in one way or another, by a 29-year-old woman named Stacey who undergoes an abortion with a mixture of moral conviction and emotional wavering. In her haunted face, the debate is writ affectingly large. (D. Thomson, Washington Post)

Lake of Fire

Sat March 1, 2008, 7:00 only, Muenzinger Auditorium

USA, 2006, English, Black and White, 152 min, Unrated, 35mm (1.85:1?)



10 films for $60 with punch card
$9 general admission. $7 w/UCB student ID, $7 for senior citizens
$1 discount to anyone with a bike helmet
Free on your birthday! CU Cinema Studies students get in free.


Pay lot 360 (now only $1/hour!), across from the buffalo statue and next to the Duane Physics tower, is closest to Muenzinger. Free parking can be found after 5pm at the meters along Colorado Ave east of Folsom stadium and along University Ave west of Macky.


Park elsewhere and catch the HOP to campus

International Film Series

(Originally called The University Film Commission)
Established 1941 by James Sandoe.

First Person Cinema

(Originally called The Experimental Cinema Group)
Established 1955 by Carla Selby, Gladney Oakley, Bruce Conner and Stan Brakhage.

C.U. Film Program

(AKA The Rocky Mountain Film Center)
First offered degrees in filmmaking and critical studies in 1989 under the guidance of Virgil Grillo.

Celebrating Stan

Created by Suranjan Ganguly in 2003.

C.U. Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

Established 2017 by Chair Ernesto Acevedo-Muñoz.

Thank you, sponsors!
Boulder International Film Festival
Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

Looking for a gift for a friend?
Buy a Frequent Patron Punch Card for $60 at any IFS show. With the punch card you can see ten films (a value of $90).

Cover art for Spring 2 2022
Virtual titles to stream from home

Cox & Kjølseth
: Filmmaker Alex Cox & Pablo Kjølseth discuss film topics from their own unique perspectives.

: Pablo and Ana share Zoom-based briefs on what's currently playing at IFS

Sprocket Damage
: Sprocket Damage digs deep(ish) into current and classic films and film-related subjects to bring to you insightful, humorous, and enlightening perspectives on the industry.

Search IFS schedules

Index of visiting artists