Controversial film ‘Unplanned’ screening in five locations in Manitoba amid fierce debate

A controversial anti-abortion film hits theatres in five locations across southern Manitoba beginning Friday amid fierce debate on both sides of the issue.

The U.S. drama “Unplanned” is based on the true story of a Planned Parenthood clinic director who becomes an anti-abortion speaker.

Cineplex and Landmark Cinemas are among the companies which have decided to show the film.

“Unplanned” will screen at the Polo Park location of Cineplex’s Scotiabank Theatre in Winnipeg and Landmark Cinema locations in Brandon, Man., and Winkler, Man.

The movie’s also playing in Steinbach, Man., and Roblin, Man.

In statement posted to Twitter, Cineplex president and CEO Ellis Jacob said the decision to move forward with screenings “was a complicated one and it was not made easily or lightly.”

Jacob said over the past weeks the company has received many phone calls and emails from Canadians on both sides of the conversation.

“When I immigrated to Canada back in 1969, one of the things that I loved, and still love, the most about living here was that we don’t shy away from our differences we embrace them,” Jacob’s statement reads. “Canada is a country that believes in and rallies behind freedom of expression, but that isn’t always an easy thing to do and it certainly doesn’t always make you popular.”

Salmar Theatres in Salmon Arm, B.C., cancelled its screenings of the film after staff allegedly received threats.

The Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada called the movie “a dangerous piece of anti-abortion propaganda.”

“It preaches an absolutist and extreme case against abortion that has nothing to do with reality,” said a Jul. 25 statement from the pro-choice advocacy group.