Pill: A Feminist Black Comedy

Emerson students are always involved in many film productions throughout the semester, and honestly most of us are a little tired of seeing the crew calls and Kickstarter campaigns all over our Facebook newsfeeds.  However, there is one upcoming production, which you should definitely keep on your radar.

Pill is a feminist black comedy about women’s reproductive rights and the lack of affordable birth control. The film is written and created by Delilah Kaufman and directed by Hannah Carpenter. Other key crew members include Kristiana Gomez, the film’s producer, and Amy Smith, the Director of Photography. The story centers around a woman in college who’s boyfriend refuses to buy condoms. Then, through a series of events, she ends up stealing birth control, because she can’t afford it. Ultimately, she ends up abusing the birth control because of the lack sexual health education. Beyond being about reproductive rights, the movie also touches upon themes of setting personal boundaries in relationships and life in general. If you are passionate about feminism and enjoy dark humor, Pill is one Emerson film that will be worth checking out.

The creators of the project were largely inspired by personal experience when it comes to finding affordable birth control. Since birth control affordability is a very problematic issue for a lot of college age women, the film is very relatable. Writer and creative producer, Delilah Kaufman, set out to create a body horror film for class, but the project evolved into a black comedy. She knew from the start that she wanted to have a ending that would be visually shocking to both male and female audiences and the film starts and ends with two very graphic but potent scenes.

Often Emerson films end up being very male centric in both characters and crew. Just look at 34th EVVYs’ nominations for film production, you’ll see the majority of the nominees are men. However, Pill decided to take a different approach when finding a crew for their film. Kristina Gomez, the producer, says that when they held crew calls they gave preference to women who were interested in participating in the project. However, they ended up hiring men to be a part of the crew, but made sure they only hired men who shared the feminist mindset of the film.

In addition to a feminist and hard working crew, the cast was also essential to bringing this project to life. Maggie Canaan brings to life the struggles of obtaining birth control as a typical college student as the lead female character, June. “She’s basically every girl, someone everyone can relate to,” says Hannah Carpenter, the director of the film. While the male character may be a stereotypical “slacker misogynist,” the actor who plays him, Jimmy Fahey, says he felt a duty to be a part of this feminist film as a white privileged man.

Feminist themes are prevalent throughout the film and drives home an important and relevant message about the lack of affordable birth control.  Pill is shooting the next two weekends in April and then it will be in the post production phase. Once the film is completed, the filmmakers plan on submitting it to as many festivals as possible. Remember to support Emerson female filmmakers by keeping a look out for Pill on the film festival circuit and keep a lookout for their upcoming Facebook page for updates.

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