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Behind every decision is a human story.

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Debate about reproductive rights is often heated. But behind every family planning decision there is a human story. Using volumetric capture technology and creative design, this film lets us see from a different perspective the emotional and complex nature behind one woman’s Choice. In this unique VR documentary viewers will meet Kristen, a young Native American woman from Austin, TX who dreams of raising a family but instead finds herself facing a painful system that forces women into dehumanizing situations just to survive.

The Choice blends techniques from traditional documentary storytelling, personal conversation, and animation, using virtual reality and interactivity to redefine not only how we tell the stories, but how the audience experiences them and connects with the subject on a deep, emotional level.

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The Choice is a series of interactive VR experiences where women talk about their choice to have an abortion.

 

Director Joanne Popinska is a Polish-Canadian. She was deeply moved by her home country’s actions that resulted in a near-total abortion ban in Poland in 2020. The Constitutional Court ruled that abortion in cases of severe fetal abnormalities was unconstitutional. Observing attempts aiming to revoke Roe v. Wade in the United States and the new Supermajority in the U.S. Supreme Court, she interviewed Canadian and American people about their abortion experiences and the obstacles they faced.

 

The Choice blends techniques from traditional documentary storytelling, personal conversation, and animation, using virtual reality and interactivity to redefine not only how we tell the stories, but how the audience experiences them and connects with the subject on a deep, emotional level.

In this series of interactive VR experiences, women talk about their choice to have an abortion. 

 

The young Native American woman sitting opposite you in the first episode is Kristen from Texas. As you talk to her about her experience, the initially empty space around you gradually fills with animated line drawings that reinforce the story which is already so poignant. 

 

She talks about her and her husband’s longing for a child, their joy when she became pregnant, and the immense sadness when after 20 weeks it turned out that their unborn child had serious physical abnormalities. She also talks about the almost inhumanely obstructive attitudes she faced in the Texas health care system when making what was already such a difficult decision. 

 

The title thus has a double meaning—it is about the actual choice that women make, as well as the freedom of choice that they are denied in far too many parts of the world.

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Partnership with Games For Change

We are partnering with Games for Change to produce an impact campaign for The Choice and bring this project to a wider audience.

 
The campaign will be centered on in-person installations at cultural and community-based institutions, conferences and other gatherings. The installation is specially designed to prepare viewers, create a sense of privacy and intimacy, and provide opportunities for reflection and discussion. The experience will be supplemented with collateral materials to provide context and a call to action. 


As a unique tool in the fight for reproductive rights, The Choice will be incorporated into campaigns by activist and advocacy organizations to mobilize the public and inform policy-makers. Curricula will also be created to incorporate The Choice into educational institutions.

Designed for Oculus Quest

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