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A Distant Thunder

Movies | Since its release, it has appeared in several film festivals, including the International Family Film Festival, where it won finalist for best short film

Issue: "The people have spoken," Feb. 4, 2006

A Distant Thunder is a psychological thriller based on the horrific realities of partial-birth abortion.

The film depicts the life of Ann Brown, a pro-choice attorney serving as the prosecutor in a murder case involving an unborn child. During her preparation for the trial, Brown feels threatened by mysterious men and has repeated nightmares. At the trial, the main witness brought to the floor is the mother of a child who was the victim of partial-birth abortion. The story is resolved in a surprise ending that makes a powerful pro-life case.

The vision behind the 35-minute DVD began when director Jonathan Flora and his wife discovered they would not be able to have children. As Mr. Flora, an award-winning producer for Disney, researched ways to combat his and his wife's infertility, he stumbled across the issue of partial-birth abortion-a procedure in which a physician partially delivers a baby, then punctures its skull and removes its brain before completing the delivery.

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"My wife and I were praying so hard to have children, and yet we're aborting 40,000 children a year," Mr. Flora told WORLD. "I'm amazed at the number of people who have no idea what partial-birth abortion is."

The couple's desire to have children, the facts about partial-birth abortion, and the lack of general knowledge about the subject led Mr. Flora to create a courtroom drama with a psychological twist. "I wanted to educate people on partial-birth abortion without being preachy, just entertaining," he said. The result is what he calls "a psycho-thriller."

Once Mr. Flora started writing his script for the film, he discovered that it was harder than he thought to get funding due to the film's controversial nature. "This project is not the norm for Hollywood," he said. "It goes against the current flow of what we hear Hollywood saying."

After two years of searching, Mr. Flora found Kip Perry, a television producer with 20 years of experience, who was willing to fund the film. "When I heard the idea, I was immediately captivated," Mr. Perry said.

Mr. Flora then began building a cast. Deborah Flora, Jonathan's wife and an actress, agreed to play the lead. "I'm given a case that is very challenging for me personally," Deborah said about her pro-choice character, who must fight for something that goes against her belief system.

Mr. Flora also recruited actors Ned Vaughn (The Hunt for Red October, Apollo 13, Courage Under Fire, and JAG), Peter Renaday (General Hospital and The Rivalry), and Laura Richardson (The Last Pitch and Sweety's Big Experiment).

Since its release, A Distant Thunder has appeared in several film festivals, including the International Family Film Festival, where it won finalist for best short film. Mr. Flora is currently marketing the film to conservative organizations, such as Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, and the Wilberforce Forum. (The DVD is unrated, but parents are cautioned that the material may be too intense for children and preteens.)

Although much of Hollywood might oppose a movie as explicitly pro-life as this one, Mr. Flora sees the film as the beginning of a new trend. "Hollywood has another voice and it needs to be more vocal."

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