Freaks and Movie Geeks

When murder rates took a sudden dip in the ’90s, it had nothing to do with stricter gun-control laws or more police presence. The lower rate was a direct result of legalizing abortion in 1973. According to the authors of bestseller Freakonomics, criminals are often born into the same troubled households — with single moms, poverty, drug use, etc. — that give rise to abortions. We know, it’s a pretty dark thought.

Freakonomics, the 2005 book-long study of cause and effect, was recently made into a film, and it’s the first screening at the new Coral Gables Art Cinema (260 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables), which opens this Friday. The film features Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me) on how black and white baby names are connected to socioeconomic conditions. Alex Gibney (Casino Jack) reveals how sumo wrestling is full of cheaters. Why We Fight’s Eugene Jarecki examines how legalized abortion stopped a murder wave, and Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing (Jesus Camp) experiment with paying students to get better grades. The film screens at 7 and 10 p.m., with a reception in between, at 9 p.m. The cinema’s first screening doubles as a fundraiser, so tickets cost a hefty $100. Call 786-385-9689, or visit
Fri., Oct. 15, 7 p.m., 2010

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Amanda McCorquodale