The Surrogate is a confrontational piece that centres around a moral dilemma with no easy answers.
Jess (Jasmine Batchelor) is overjoyed to be carrying a child for her best friend Josh (Chris Perfetti) and his husband Aaron (Sullivan Jones). But things take an unexpected turn when the fetus tests positive for Down syndrome. Jess is optimistic about the situation after she does extensive research, visits a special needs school and spends a lot of time with a child with Down syndrome, but Josh and Aaron say they are financially unable to face the challenges caring for such a child would bring and want an abortion.
Writer-director Jeremy Hersh’s debut feature is comprised almost entirely of conversations (and arguments) as the film raises thought-provoking and challenging questions about eugenics, racism, privilege, and the stigmas surrounding Down syndrome.
These discussions are extremely engaging, with the arguments being so visceral they had the audience on the edge of their seats.
The Surrogate is a fascinating film that forces its characters (and hopefully also the audience) out of their comfort zones.
The Surrogate is currently screening as part of the Adelaide Film Festival
Click here to book tickets.
Reviewed by Jordan Ellis