‘South Dakota’ is a unique film, which brings forth the touchy subject of pro-life and pro-choice thinking, by blending the power of emotional drama of a motion picture, with the detached debate of a documentary film.
Two unplanned pregnancies land two teenage girls on the doorstep of a difficult and life changing decision. Barb is a 14-year old happy-go-lucky teenager, a cheerleader in love with her 15-year old star athlete boyfriend. A day of passion changes their lives forever! Chris is a black teenager, who lives in parks and under bridges, becomes pregnant due to a rape. Both teenagers deny their situation for far too long and get desperate for advice and guidance.
They need someone to guide them when the future becomes imminent. Directed by Bruce Isacson, the film beautifully depicts the dilemma faced by people faced by such a choice and their desperation in wanting to do something that is right. The movie features interviews and opinions of pro-life and pro-choice voices. While the pro-choice views are those of Gloria Allred, Alexander Sanger, Peter Singer and Dr. Wendy Savage, the pro-life supporters are Robert George, Bill Hurlbut and Michael Schwarz.
While movies based on teen pregnancy may be dime a dozen, South Dakota isn’t just another one of those. It is, instead, a more profound and wholesome take on the matter, which features opinions of a wide range of experts, along with a heartwarming tale of two girls in the situation. The movie serves two purposes - it comes as a wake-up call to the millions of youngsters, who’re being irresponsible and digging a pit for themselves; it also serves as a solace for those, who have already fallen in that pit, telling them it still isn’t too late to pick up the broken pieces and bring their life back on track.
The young girls, who play pregnant teens in the movie are extremely convincing in their portrayals, and end up occupying a soft corner in the viewer’s heart by the end of the movie, as one marvels at the grit and conviction with which they get through the ordeal. Director Bruce Isacson gets full marks for putting this documentary together, and throwing light on a problem that’s been tabooed for decades.