The Third Option

The Third Option

Thomas Fürhapter | 
Austria |
 2017 | 
75 minutes

THE MONDAY MAY 7 SCREENING IS PART OF THE JUSTICE FORUM SERIES AND WILL INCLUDE A POST-FILM DISCUSSION.

Provoking some of the most uncomfortable yet critically important questions being asked in this year’s Justice Forum series, The Third Option takes an encompassing look at the ethics and implications of prenatal screenings, as well as the decisions that follow should the results be considered ‘abnormal’. The weight of these philosophical questions is given plenty of room to breathe in Thomas Fürhapter’s visually striking film essay. Long, painterly scenes brimming with life and colour—such as swimming pools and children’s parks—call to mind the synchronized cinematography in Jacques Tati’s Playtime. Kids doing gymnastics and mothers practicing yoga are juxtaposed against more industrial environments of workers making wheelchairs and prosthetics.

Medical professionals, psychotherapists, philosophers, and disability rights advocates provide a foundation to explore the increasingly blurred line between responsible obstetric management and the politics of eugenics. But it is the personal experiences that most resound, including a woman who talks about the decision to terminate a late-term pregnancy. -SC

Filmmaker

Thomas Fürhapter

Thomas Fürhapter is an author and filmmaker born in Vienna, 1971. He studied philosophy, for which he obtained his Masters in 2002. His work includes: videowork at Burgtheater Wien (theatre, 2002 – 2005), the midlength documentary Michael Berger: Eine Hysterie (2010, Festivals: Graz -Diagonale, Jihlava Awards: Silver Eye and Special Mention Medium Lenght, Kassel, Leipzig, Marseille, Montréal Award: Lobende Erwähnung), the experimental short Planes (2006), and the essay film Das Gelb ohne Zebra (2004).

Justice Forum Panelist

Tim Stainton

Tim Stainton is Professor at the School of Social Work and Director of the Centre for Inclusion and Citizenship (http://cic.arts.ubc.ca/), University of British Columbia. He holds a PhD from the London School of Economics on disability rights and social policy. He has consulted internationally and published widely on rights based social service structures, disability rights, history, ethics and theory.

Helen Kelsey-Etmanski

Advocate of the Lower Mainland Down Syndrome Society