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How Director Eliza Hittman’s Journey To Pregnancy Centers In Rural America Inspired Her New Film ‘Never Rarely Sometimes Always’




Director Eliza Hittman on the set of her film
Director Eliza Hittman on the set of her film "Never Rarely Sometimes Always".
Focus Features/Never Rarely Sometimes Always (2020)

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The film “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” was slated for a theatrical release in March, but due to COVID-19 screenings were postponed. Instead, the film is out on digital this week, currently sporting a 98 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and receiving critical acclaim both here on FilmWeek and nationwide as one of the best films of 2020 so far.

Writer-director Eliza Hittman’s third feature-length film is about two teenage girls Skylar (Talia Ryder) and Autumn (Sidney Flanagan) from rural Pennsylvania who travel to New York City for medical help after an unplanned pregnancy. Hittman says the idea for the film came to her when she read in a book about how some women in Ireland, which up until recently had very strict laws against abortions, would travel from Ireland to London in 24 hours just to get a procedure. It struck her as worthy of a screenplay, and the idea was born. As part of her research for the film Hittman went to a small coal-mining community in rural Pennsylvania and, even though she wasn’t pregnant, visited pregnancy centers, got tested, and talked with women getting treatment and counseling so she could, as she says, “write the scenes with credibility.”

Today on FilmWeek, we’ll air “The Frame” host John Horn’s interview with “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” director Eliza Hittman where the two discuss how Hittman came up with the idea for the film, her journey to rural America to find out what visiting pregnancy centers there is like, and how that informed the way she conceived and wrote the film.

Guest:

Eliza Hittman, writer and director of “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”