Misogyny, Horror & Architecture: Mid-Century & the End of Reproductive Justice in the U.S.
We are on the verge of the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion throughout the United States. With this decision, other landmark rulings including those that legalized access to contraception, gender-affirming care, and same-sex marriage may also be threatened.
How did we get here? Of course, this is a rhetorical question, as we have experienced the federal government and state-based legislatures, coupled with legal campaigns, chip away at Roe for the past 49 years. I have been interested in understanding which stories, storytellers, (former president Trump comes to mind), and cultural forces are drowning out the narratives from the 6 in 10 (61%) Americans who believe that abortion should be legal in all or most cases.
An intriguing exploration is Mid-Century, a horror film starring Chelsea Gilligan and edited by Stephanie Filo. Seemingly about a husband and wife's weekend in a mid-century modern vacation rental turns deadly, the story brings to life the narratives that helped to move the U.S. to this political moment. Written during the Trump administration, the film shows the power and cruel consequences of former president Trump's narrative of an imagined time when America was at its greatest: The 1950s, a pre-civil, gender, and LGBTQ+ rights era, amongst most human rights.
I talked with Chelsea Gilligan, who plays Dr. Alice Dodgeson, the lead role, and Stephanie Filo. We talked about everything from their work on the film and the entertainment industry to their life journeys and love of community and cooking.
Stephanie Filo, ACE is a two-time Emmy and Peabody Award-winning TV/Film Editor and activist based in Los Angeles, CA and Sierra Leone, West Africa. She serves on the board for Girls Empowerment Sierra Leone, a social impact and feminist-based organization for Sierra Leonean girls aged 11-16. She is one of the co-founders of End Ebola Now, an organization created in 2014 to spread accurate information and awareness about the Ebola Virus and its impact through artistic community activism.
Chelsea Gilligan made her series regular debut on The CW's "Star-Crossed" where Gilligan portrayed "Teri," a tough as nails high school student, who also happens to be an alien. Her past credits include roles on shows like "How I Met Your Mother," Victorious" and "Big Time Rush."