Expired July 12, 2022 7:00 AM
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This gripping drama traces Simone Veil’s courageous fight to legalize abortion in France. Veil, a teen-age Auschwitz survivor, was a French health minister who advocated for groundbreaking legislation.

"The taut drama reveals the triumphant reality of how Veil, her aides, and the shrinking number of party members held their ground...The Law is a tribute to Simone Veil’s power as an individual and an extraordinary humanitarian." - BlogCritics.org

In 2017, Simone Veil, one of the “grands homes et femmes” of France died at the age of 90. While at her death she was considered one of the most admired people in her home country, she was also denounced and scorned by Front National founder Jean-Marie Le Pen and others for her advocacy in legalizing abortion. The ensuing bill, called the “Veil Law,” was passed in 1975. Thereafter, abortion in France was legal although with restrictions such as mandatory counseling and a seven-day waiting period after a woman’s request.

As a teen, Veil was deported along with her family to Auschwitz. Upon her return to France in 1945 (she and her two sisters survived the war; her parents and brother did not), she was seen as a pioneer—first becoming a lawyer at a time when few French women entered that profession, and then moving on to the judiciary. In 1974, President Valéry Giscard-Estaing appointed her his health minister.

During Le Pen’s diatribe against her during the abortion debate, Veil responded, “Vous ne me faites pas peur. J’ai survécu à pire que vous.” (“You don’t scare me. I’ve survived worse than you.”)

Sponsored by EBIJFF.

Co-sponsored by CCJCC in partnership with Congregation B'nai Shalom.

  • Year
  • Runtime
    127 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
  • Note
    Original title: La loi, le combat d'une femme pour toutes les femmes
  • Director
    Christian Faure
  • Screenwriter
    Fanny Burdino, Samuel Doux, Mazarine Pingeot
  • Producer
    David Kodsi, Jean-Michel Quilici, Johanne Rigoulot
  • Cast
    Emmanuelle Devos, Lorànt Deutsch, Flore Bonaventura
  • Cinematographer
    Jean-Pierre Hervé
  • Editor
    Aurique Delannoy
  • Production Design
    Vincent Deleforge, Quentin Prévost
  • Music
    Charles Court