Inspired by the lawsuits filed in Florida challenging the state’s abortion ban on the basis of religious freedom, Director Paula Eiselt’s documentary short film, UNDER G-D is about the national Jewish response to the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization U.S. Supreme Court decision woven through the lived experiences of impacted Jewish women and the various lawsuits currently being launched by rabbis, Jewish organizations and interfaith leaders to challenge the overturning of Roe v. Wade, state by state. Through the lens of maintaining the separation between church and state, these nationwide efforts are predicated on ultimately protecting religious freedom – and democracy – for all. UNDER G-D weaves together the stories of a Jewish mother and activist in Indiana, a rabbi in Florida and lawyers throughout the country who are seeking to fight abortion bans in part by placing them in the legal and cultural context of religious freedom. In an ironic twist, the very laws that might support this work are the Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRAs), which have thus far been used to allow faith believers to make an end-run around civil rights protections, as in the notorious Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. or gay wedding cake cases at the U.S. Supreme Court. UNDER G-D introduces us to characters that are now flipping the very script used so effectively by Christian nationalists. Director Paula Eiselt (Aftershock, 93Queen) joins us to talk about the gathering momentum that these recent public protests and cases, as well as the work of Jewish leaders around the country are taking to protect women, and protect democracy, by preserving the constitutionally enshrined separation of church and state.
World Premiere Screenings – 2023 Sundance Film Festival
About the filmmaker – Paula Eiselt is an award-winning independent feature-film filmmaker, producer, and activist known for her journalistic rigor in telling timely and intelligent cinematic stories led by strong-willed characters. She has dedicated her filmmaking career to shining a light on trailblazers and everyday heroes from all walks of life and is most notably known for her two award-winning documentary features, 93QUEEN (POV/HBOMax) and most recently, AFTERSHOCK (Hulu / Disney+). AFTERSHOCK, which spotlights the long-lasting effects of the US maternal health crisis, premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival in the U.S. Doc Competition, and was awarded the Special Jury Award: Impact for Change. AFTERSHOCK was acquired out of Sundance by Disney’s Onyx Collective and ABC News Studios and released on Hulu in the US and on Disney+ worldwide on July 19. IndieWire named Paula one of 22 Rising Filmmakers to Watch in 2022. In 2019, she was named one of Jewish Week’s “36 Under 36.” Paula is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and serves on the board of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance. She currently lives in New Jersey with her husband and their 4 children.