A Quiet Inquisition (2014)
Directed by Holen Kahn and Alessandra Zeka, 65 mins
At a public hospital in Nicaragua, Dr Carla Cerrato, obstetrician-gynaecologist, struggles with her conscience as she contends with the harrowing implications of a new law that prevents the termination of any pregnancy, even when a woman’s life is at stake.
As she and her colleagues navigate the fears of prosecution and whether to use the medical protocols that enable them to save lives, the drama of the deadly impact of this law emerges, illuminating the reality of prohibition against the backdrop of a political, religious and historically complex national identity.
This law came into effect in Nicaragua in 2006. For the previous 130 years, abortions and terminations of pregnancies were legal for medical and health basis. The new law does not allow a single exception for a legal abortion - not even in cases of rape, incest or when the mother's life is at risk.
Following the trajectory of punitive laws passed a decade earlier in neighboring El Salvador, Nicaragua is one of only a few countries in the world to have such severe restrictions.
A Quiet Inquisition: on demand
Why are we digging so far back into the archive?
We first showed A Quiet Inquisition in 2015 and have since screened it at the Dutch Global Health Film Festival in 2021 and the Australia Global Health Film Festival in 2022.
Despite some positive developments, a setback in legislation, most notably in the United States, means that an estimated 41% of women worldwide live in countries with restrictive abortion laws. These restrictions have a significant impact on women’s lives: each year, the World Health Organization estimates that 39,000 women and girls die from consequences of unsafe abortions.
In countries where abortion is legal, barriers may still exist, such as high costs, waiting times, parental or marital consent requirements, and social stigma; and as a result, films like A Quiet Inquisition remain as relevant as ever.
A Quiet Inquisition will be available for you to watch from Friday 29 September to Monday 02 October2023. VOD tickets are on sale now at £4.99
All VOD tickets are free for Global Health Film members
Livestreamed Q&A with A Quiet Inquisition director
Tuesday 03 October 19:30 BST: join us online to put your questions and thoughts to co-director Holen Kahn and to to find out what happened next and how Dr Cerrato is doing today.
Your Q&A registration link is in your VOD ticket confirmation email!