America is 'land of the unfree' in Amnesty International ad protesting Roe v. Wade decision

Spot depicts plight of women and girls finding they are pregnant against rendition of 'Star-Spangled Banner'

Published On
Jun 29, 2022

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Amnesty International portrays America as the "Land of the Unfree" in a powerful new spot protesting the Supreme Court's overturn of the Roe vs Wade decision. 

The film portrays four different young women and girls from different circumstances, each finding out that they are pregnant.  Scenes of their emotional distress and powerlessness unfold against a new rendition of the "Star Spangled Banner," performed by Norwegian artist Emilie Nicolas.

Toward the spot's finale, Nicolas' version of the national anthem strategically stops short. As she crescendoes on the line "The land of the..." the song abruptly ends before she reaches the word "free," creating a deafening silence around copy on the screen: "You're not free when you can't decide your own future." 

The video also includes a petition to protect the right to safe abortion in the U.S, targeting individual state governments working to expand or restrict access to abortion.

The spot launched June 24 following the verdict and has been trending on TikTok, having received 3,3 million views in the first 48 hours. It is running on digital and social channels in more than ten countries, across multiple continents, and has been translated into six languages, including Chinese.  

The ad was created by Norwegian agency Anorak and directed by Nicolina Knapp via B-Reel Films.

“Cinematically, I wanted the shots to feel raw, honest and unexpected, in order to accurately depict the reality of the characters’ trauma and internal conflict,” said Knapp in a statement. “The core strengths that make these women stand out and carry their emotions on their sleeve; it is something you can’t always touch, but that you can sense.”