Palindromes – choosing sides?

Todd Solondz is a director who provokes strong reactions. From ‘Welcome to the Dollshouse’ to ‘Storytelling’, Solondz thrives on controversial, whacked out, grim and gritty stereo-type busting.

So it should come as no surprise that he has entered into America’s fraught debate over abortion in his latest film. In Palindromes, Solondz fiercely resists being boxed into a pro-life or anti-choice position. The story concerns the disabled, 13 year old cousin of Dawn Weiner, the heroine of Dollshouse.

Aviva gets pregnant. She wants the baby, but she is co-erced into having an abortion by her liberal, loving mother. It looks to be a plot set up to invoke the support of pro-lifers. But, in this interview with Matthew Scott Keleman for AlterNet, Solondz describes the film as ‘anti-anti-choice’.

And the film promises to be interesting beyond it’s provocative subject matter: Solondz has cast eight different actors to play Aviva, including Jennifer Jason Leigh and one man.

Palindromes is showing at the Raindance East Film Festival.