According to WHO, infertility is a global public heath issue and affects a significant proportion of people. However, the innovation of IVF has brought hope to those who struggle to conceive; some are lucky, while some are sadly forced to give up as the treatment doesn’t work. To those affected, infertility might be seen as an illnesses that “should never be mentioned” as it is often surrounded by guilt and shame.
When Abby (Avery Clyde) and her husband Michael (Joel Bryant) fail 4th IVF treatment after they have spent over $100,000 on it, they both decide to stop trying. Abby then attends the Breakthrough and Miracles conference, run by a best-selling author Sara Lynda McCormick (Sharon Lawrence), during which she comes up with an unexpected plan; she decides to meet with Derek (Kevin Richardson) – a voluntary sperm donor, who is a part of an “underground fertility treatment”. At first, there is a bit of discomfiture between the two; but this feeling vanishes with Derek’s friendly approach towards Abby and her situation. Their profound and soothful conversation is frequently emotionally draining and might even make a viewer sob from time to time. The woman decides to undergo an artificial insemination as she doesn’t want to betray her loving and supporting husband. After a couple of trials, she is unfortunately still unsuccessful and – with only one chance of getting pregnant left – she visits Derek at his home. This causes a serious issue, resulting in his refusal to help Abby again. Distraught, she leaves the conference and flies back home, hoping for a better future with Michael. But, is there any future left?
If I Could Tell You, directed by the Clyde Brothers, speaks of real pain of a woman whose heartbreaking journey to achieve her dream of becoming a mother is depicted in a convincing and emotional way. It is an honest and thought-provoking short film (over 30 minutes long), which tackles the issue of infertility, the problem that is very rarely openly discussed by those affected by it. Avery Clyde’s characterization of Abby is incontrovertibly astounding; I loved every single minute of her performance. It has been said that the actress herself experienced her own fertility difficulties, which probably helped her with her portrayal of the protagonist.
Acting is good in all levels, in addition to editing and soundtrack, and the camera work by D.O.P Morgan Schmidt is clean and undisturbed. The film was partly financed by a community of people on IndieGoGo and it – without a doubt – was made into a helluva good short film. There is no surprise that If I Could Tell You won L.A HollyShort Film Festival Award in TV Category.
I hope that this film will start a new debate on this incredibly personal and – for great numbers of people painful – issue, and that it will help other struggling women and men seek help without being judged, patronized and without being apologetic for something that is not a fault of theirs.
Written by Maggie Gogler
Edited by Sanja Struna
All photos © Squint Pictures