Born smart, born beautiful, but born the wrong color on the wrong side of the tracks, Alicia quickly discovers the rules aren’t just different for girls. They’re different for her.
Synopsis: Struggling on a small scholarship to a private catholic school, Alicia Martinez (16), works hard to hide her dysfunctional immigrant roots. In her search for love and friendship amongst her privileged friends she makes all the usual teenage mistakes. When her secret gets out, Alicia sustains a bitter public humiliation.
Miss America is a contemporary urban drama addressing the realities of abortion from conflicting perspectives. Set against the backdrop of a dysfunctional immigrant family, we follow Alicia as she navigates sex, race and class in America.
Miss America takes us into the eye of the abortion storm. The film is not an advocacy, rather a balanced fictional narrative that personalizes one young girl’s experience in context. Alicia makes a tough decision against everyone’s wishes – and gets humiliated for it. In taking that journey with her we gain several perspectives at once.
Ironically, unwanted pregnancies are close to 100% preventable, yet millions of teenagers the world over give birth early due to social and cultural pressure. Most parents can protect their kid in advance – teach them objectively about sex; provide contraception whether or not they’re sexually active, as a just-in-case measure. Instead, millions of teen girls go unprotected. When they do fall pregnant they’re persuaded away from abortion – and not just in societies where religious doctrine or politics subvert personal freedoms.
Roe vs Wade is forever under attack in the US. Conservative state legislatures work to eliminate choices for women. Abortion is criminalized in a host of countries, including Ireland, where women must travel overseas, in secret, because abortion under any circumstances is unconstitutional. In Brazil, women are dying at record rates from illegal procedures every year. Yet still, in popular film, abortion is taboo. If it does appear in a movie, it’s rarely the central focus. Miss America seeks to enter the drama head on, because this is an issue affecting women the world over. So many taboo subjects have been brought into the light by film and popular TV, and to great effect. Isn’t it time we started down that road on an issue that divides so many?
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