Director's Statement

This was published in 2003 when the film first came out:

Life, Liberty & The Pursuit of Happiness is a short film with expansive aspirations – to highlight the rapidly evolving threat to a women’s right to choice. It aims to galvanize both the generation of women and men who have benefited from nearly 30 years of freedom  and those who remember what it was like when it was criminal and dangerous for a woman to exercise control over her own body.

I have been making films since 1991 but this is my first activist endeavor. I originally wrote the proposal to make this film for Planned Parenthood Golden Gate after my increasing concern and frustration of the erosion of reproductive rights in our country. This film is my response to our current administration’s policies.

I was born shortly before Roe v. Wade and I know that our grandmothers and mothers fought hard to give us this right to make personal decisions about our bodies. While I, along with my collaborators, were not fully engaged in the feminist activist movement before making this film, our goal was to approach this intense, polarized subject in a new way. This film is both satirical and serious. We use humor and irony to open people up to this critical subject and enlist them in the important effort that lies ahead. We hope to reach a new audience and reinvigorate past supporters to continue to fight for this right. Hopefully, my daughter Odessa Simone (4-19-03) and her generation and beyond will have this right upheld without question.

Tiffany Shlain

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