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Home / The Sterilization of Leilani Muir - DVD

The Sterilization of Leilani Muir - DVD ONF/NFB


Catalogue Number:  NFB520093
Producer:  National Film Board Of Canada
Producers:  Graydon McCrea, Jerry Krepakevich
Directors:  Glynis Whiting
Producing Agencies:  National Film Board of Canada (Montreal)
Subject:  Criminal Justice & Law, Documentary, Health and Medicine, Women's Studies
Language:  English
Country Of Origin:  Canada
Copyright Year:  1996
Running Time:  47:00
Closed Captions:  Yes


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Twenty-five years ago Leilani Muir was informed she would never be able to conceive a child. Unbeknownst to her, at the age of fourteen, she had already been sexually sterilized, by an Act of the Alberta government. The film entwines her personal search for justice with the background story of eugenics, a respected "science" during the early decades of the twentieth century. In 1928, the Alberta government, supported by some of society's most prominent members, passed the Sterilization Act. By the time the Act was repealed in 1972, the lives of nearly 3,000 individuals were irreparably changed. Included in the wide net of people considered "unfit" to bear children were new immigrants, alcoholics, epileptics, unwed mothers, the poor and native people. The film opens as Leilani concludes years of emotional and legal preparation and steps into court to sue the Alberta government.


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