‘The Janes,’ a film on Chicago’s secret abortion collective, will have local premiere at DOC10

Other documentaries in the May festival will explore chef José Andrés and the fight to save a South Loop school.

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A 1972 photo of women arrested for working with the collective is seen in the documentary “The Janes.”

Sundance Institute

“The Janes,” a documentary about an underground network of Chicagoans who helped women secure illegal abortions in the late ’60s and early ’70s, will make its local premiere next month as part of the Doc10 Documentary Film Festival.

The film from directors Tia Lessin and Emma Pildes uses archival footage and recent interviews with the activists to tell the history of the Jane Collective, who predated the Roe vs. Wade ruling and were up against both the police and the mob in their clandestine operation.

Like most of the Doc10 films, “The Janes” will screen at the Davis Theater, 4614 N. Lincoln. It will open the festival at 7:15 p.m. May 19. Later in the year it is set to show on HBO and HBO Max.

(Another film on the Jane Collective, a fictional take titled “Call Jane,” was acquired by Roadside Attractions and is awaiting release later this year. Elizabeth Banks, Sigourney Weaver and Wunmi Mosaku star.)

The Doc10 closer comes from Oscar winner Ron Howard. “We Feed People” profiles famed Spanish chef José Andrés and his World Central Kitchen, which brings food to crisis zones around the world. It premieres at 7 p.m. May 22 at the Davis.

A total of 10 features and 10 shorts are making their Chicago premieres at the fest. (One, “Navalny,” already was screened Saturday.) Also on the roster is “Let the Little Light Shine,” chronicling the efforts of Chicago parents and students to prevent the closure of the National Teachers Academy in the South Loop in 2017.

For more titles and tickets, go to www.doc10.org.

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