After Tiller follows four doctors who are among the only providers in the United States that offer late-term abortions in states without bans. Abortion has been discussed and dissected a million ways (Lake of Fire was particularly effective), but directors Martha Shane and Lana Wilson turned their cameras towards one of the most contentious issues within this national split and the resulting film is mesmerizing to watch because it is a simple procedural about a group of doctors helping women through this tragic process. Most of the women who come through their doors are carrying fetuses with fatal conditions, so it is heart-wrenching to watch these mothers make the incredibly difficult choice to spare their unborn child the pain and agony of a short life outside the womb, and the filmmakers handle these moments with respect while highlighting that these doctors have to wear many hats as they comfort their patients, guide them through this decision, and ultimately perform the procedure. Other reviewers have knocked After Tiller for not spending time on the pro-life side of things, but I think that’s utterly useless: one side is compassionately providing women a desperately needed service and the other side is assassinating doctors, harassing women, and setting stables full of horses on fire, so excuse me and the filmmakers for not giving a shit about their side of the story. After Tiller is an important film about people doing important work under extraordinary circumstances, and it does its best to delicately frame the doctors’ passionate dissenters, except you can’t put lipstick on a pig in this case.
Bottom Line After Tiller is an important film about people doing important work under extraordinary circumstances, and it does its best to delicately frame the doctors' passionate dissenters, except you can't put lipstick on a pig in this case.