Never Rarely Sometimes Always (2020): Body Possession and Sexual Violence


 In general view, women's bodies have long been unilaterally articulated by men in various walks of life. Through Never Rarely Sometimes Always (2020), Eliza Hittman demolishes that view and emphasizes that women have full rights to their own bodies, including the issue of abortion. On the other hand, sexual violence constantly threatens women.

Never Rarely Sometimes Always depicts an unfavorable environment for women. Similar to the reality, there is sexual violence that constantly threatens women. This condition is felt by the main character, Autumn (Sidney Flanigan). In fact, the initial scene opens with a scene where he is verbally abused in public and no one is defending him. In addition, there is no opportunity for him to prosecute the perpetrators and bring about justice.

In the next scene, the film records Autumn's trip to New York to have an abortion at the age of a teenager. In his "desperation", he is accompanied by his female cousin, Skylar (Talia Ryder), who is still the same age as him. Upon learning of Autumn's growing womb, Skylar agrees to accompany her cousin to New York with stolen money from the shop where they work. In this film, only Skylar understands Autumn. In the end, the two of them left without their parents' permission by taking a bus and using a small amount of money.

During a trip to New York, they were subjected to harassment that was apparently no different from their previous experience in their neighborhood of Pennsylvania. Imagine in a state of heart that was so frantic and broken, Autumn saw Skylar "gave" her body to an unknown man for money to survive in New York. The new environment incarnated a terrible threat and tortured both of them.

Meanwhile, the focus of this film does not focus on trying to find the father of the baby and trying to ask the father to recognize the baby. This story describes the psychological condition that Autumn felt, starting from her disbelief in the results of the pregnancy test, the effort to accept that she was pregnant, to the decision to abort the baby. With such a complex description, she negates all common views that make her reluctant to abort her baby.


Abortion may still be a taboo in society. Autumn chooses the option of aborting a large uterus. The decision may in certain cases not be justified by religion and the views of the general public. Meanwhile, according to the Health Act, there are two general conditions that cause a person to have an abortion: a medical emergency and a victim of rape.

Fortunately, in this film, Autumn finds a hospital that has complete abortion facilities and understands the patient's condition very well. Described, he received proper health care. An opportunity that may not be obtained by all women.

In addition, this film depicts the torment of survivors of sexual violence, as Autumn felt. One of them is the scene where he beats his stomach until he is bruised and hopes that he will miscarry. He also harbored all these heavy burdens from his family who were described as unable to protect him. 

Meanwhile, although the highlight of the scene did not take away the violence she experienced, the unstoppable tears from Autumn's eyes when she painstakingly shared her bad experience with the doctor have touched us and hurt us too. After that, we can't imagine the continuation of Autumn's life which may be more terrible than the period of abortion.

As a result, Never Rarely Sometimes Always brought protests against sexual violence that women often experience. In addition, through this film, Eliza Hittman states that women have the full right to have an abortion as one of their bodily rights.

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