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Rain Without Thunder

Rain Without Thunder (1992) Movie Poster
  •  USA  •    •  85m  •    •  Directed by: Gary O. Bennett.  •  Starring: Betty Buckley, Carolyn McCormick, Iona Morris, Steve Zahn, Jeff Daniels, Ali Thomas, Stuart Burney, Eliza Clark, Heather Lilly, Alyssa Rallo Bennett, Helen Lloyd Breed, Katy Selverstone, Frederic Forrest.  •  Music by: Allen Lynch, Randall Lynch.
      It's the year 2042 and the threat is real...women are going to prison for terminating their pregnancies. An investigating reporter is determined to reveal the truth behind the convictions.


Image from: Rain Without Thunder (1992)
Image from: Rain Without Thunder (1992)
I caught this movie by chance because the TV was on . . . knew nothing about it. I saw the "2042 A.D." notation at the beginning and I decided to watch it since I like science fiction.

Only a few minutes in, the film revealed its pro-choice propagandist objective. Since I pay close attention to social issues in politics, I continued to watch. At the first commercial break I read reviews written at the time of its release, which mostly remarked that it was the most boring 85 minutes a person could experience.

However, now after more than twenty years, the film is quite interesting -- not for its quality but for its "hits and misses" at predicting the future. For example, there is mention of economic expansion through the end of the twentieth century, followed by a pull-back causing Americans to believe that the nation needed to be reclaimed -- apparently by criminalizing abortion. The writer correctly predicted the pro-life trend in America for the next few decades, but attributed it to the wrong reasons. In reality, ever since 1973, science has provided ever-increasing evidence that life begins too soon after fertilization for most Americans to support abortion on demand even at ever-decreasing gestation periods.

A more reasoned prediction would be that IF the unborn in America were defined as persons with the constitutional right to life (and thus Roe v. Wade overturned), it would happen BECAUSE society as a whole gravitated in the same direction (as opposed to increased polarization), and thus the extent of the punishment for illegal abortion would be less controversial than this film presents.

Although abortion advocates may see the film as showing both pro-choice and pro-life viewpoints, I could find only one instance of a pro-life message: A Catholic priest describes the gruesome details of tearing a fetus limb-from-limb in the womb or alternatively burning it to death with chemicals. Otherwise, the film is 100% pro-choice and anti-Christian.

The writer's prediction concerning feminism (and malefemale relations) was far from the mark, at least for the first 20 years after release of the film. Certainly feminist advocacy has shifted since 1992, but to predict that women would lose so-called rights and societal stature was ridiculous -- apparently it was presented as an extreme claim in order to prompt a reaction.

Review by Toaster1980 from the Internet Movie Database.