The Red Lotus Summary
Michelle (Jennifer Plotzke) and Debbie (Shara Ashley Zeiger) are two sisters making their way to The Red Lotus for a yoga retreat. At least that’s what Debbie thinks until Michelle explains that The Red Lotus is actually place for women to seek out safe abortions. This is also about the time that we find out that this is set in a not too distant dystopian future. Michelle is in need of an abortion after her boyfriend decided to follow his career down a path away from her. Debbie is revealed to be seemingly very much against it, which causes a rift between the sisters.
The film tries to do a couple of important things as it shows us what a world might look like if women’s reproductive rights were completely stripped away. It also shows two women who seem to have different views on abortion having an important dialogue. Debbie finally comes around –after revealing her own personal issues with the procedure. She realizes her sister’s well-being is more important than her beliefs on the issue.
In this reviewer’s view, this short film’s length impedes on the message. It seems to have to squeeze in important details at awkward times. For instance, we find out that this is the not too distant future because Roe v. Wade was overturned in 2020. It also lessens the tension in the more dramatic moments as they’re not allowed to actually build long enough to let the audience get invested in the situation before it’s over.
Who Is This Short For?
This could be a nice short for Women’s and Gender Studies classes and/or as an interesting piece of research for papers on related topics. It might also be a nice way into some conversations with teens when explaining reproductive rights, and the importance of having reproductive freedom.
Running Time: 19 Minutes
Shara Ashley Zeiger
About the Author
Sharai Bohannon is a playwright, and an avid theatre practitioner, who is very excited to write about most things but especially Chicago Theatre. She has a background in journalism and technical theatre and is excited that those degrees will be put to use in a way that gives her an excuse to leave her couch and brave this “outside” that people keep telling her about. When not on her couch watching TV, she can be found working one of her multiple jobs and/or hunting down a happy hour near you. Read some of Sharai Bohannon’s New Works on New Play Exchange.