by Diana Whitten
Dr. Rebecca Gomperts sails a ship around the world, providing abortions at sea for women with no legal alternative. Her idea begins as flawed spectacle, faced with governmental, religious, and military blockade. But with each roadblock comes a more refined mission, until Rebecca realizes she can use new technologies to bypass law – and train women to give themselves abortions using WHO-researched protocols with pills.
From there we witness her create an underground network of emboldened, informed activists who trust women to handle abortion themselves. “Vessel” is Rebecca’s story: one of a woman who hears and answers a calling, and transforms a wildly improbable idea into a global movement.
English, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Polish, Swahili
Presented by Sovereignty Productions in association with Fork Films, Impact Partners, and Chicken & Egg Pictures
Directed and Produced by Diana Whitten
Produced by Mitchell Block
Executive Producers: Abigail Disney, Dan Cogan, Geralyn Dreyfous
Co-executive Producer: Jenny Raskin
Co-producer: Elissa Brown
Edited by Simeon Hutner
Cinematography by Diana Whitten
Original Music by T. Griffin, Heather Mcintosh
Animation by Emily Hubley, Emilie Hsin Pei Liu
DIRECTOR - DIANA WHITTEN
Diana Whitten (director/producer) has a decade of professional film/TV direction, production and design experience. She founded Sovereignty Productions in 2008, following a Fulbright Fellowship to Indonesia, and was the Director of Communications at Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program. Vessel, her first feature film, premiered at South by Southwest Film Festival and won the Audience Award in the Documentary Competition, as well as a Special Jury Award for Political Courage. Awards include the inaugural Peter Wintonick Award from Sheffield DocFest, an Honorable mention for the Moving Mountains Award at Mountainfilm in Telluride, and the Adrienne Shelly Excellence in Filmmaking Award.
SXSW 2014 - AUDIENCE AWARD & SPECIAL JURY AWARD〡SHEFFIELD DOC FEST 2014〡HOT DOCS 2014〡JERUSALEM FILM FESTIVAL 2014〡BERGEN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2014〡NANTUCKET FILM FESTIVAL 2014〡DOC NYC 2014〡GOTEBORG 2015
"Unabashed... dramatic... provocative."
- New York Times
"A deeply moving portrait… powerfully impassioned."
- The Hollywood Reporter
"An intriguing story passionately told, shot through and through with activist zeal."
"'Vessel' Inspires the future fight for abortion rights. The new documentary following Dutch doctor Rebecca Gomperts provides important context to necessary change for global reproductive rights."
- The Nation
"A powerful, knock-your-socks-off documentary that will strike fear in your hearts and remind you to get out and fight for what’s right."
- Bust Magazine