I went to see Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer because I thought I ought to. I hadn’t read any reviews of the movie—there are hardly any—so I thought it was going to be a low-budget documentary, well-intentioned but looking as though the money (crowdfunded) had run out or never existed. I dreaded abortion-clinic carnage: bloody images of aborted fetuses that some pro-life groups plaster onto their picketing posters. I was already familiar with Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia abortion provider convicted in 2013 of multiple first-degree murders—among other crimes—for butchering moving, breathing, and sometimes crying close-to-full-term babies born alive at his unsanitary clinic, which catered to poor minority women. (A grand jury report numbered the alleged infanticides in the “hundreds,” although Gosnell was only charged with a handful of them, partly because he had apparently destroyed most of his files.) A mainstream media blackout obscured the trial in 2013 (just a “local crime” story, sniffed a Washington Post reporter), and a mainstream media blackout has obscured the release of the movie today—unless you count snark from Slate as mainstream media.

No movie theater in Washington, D.C., where I live, is showing Gosnell, so I had to travel 10 miles to a multiplex in Silver Spring, Maryland. At 4:30 in the afternoon, I was the only person in the theater. The movie has done pretty well on word-of-mouth, though, achieving No. 10 status on its opening weekend and garnering $2.7 million to date—enough to cover its $2.3 million budget. But it’s fading fast. The film has already vanished from the theater in Silver Spring, but if you are willing to drive to distant D.C.-area suburbia, you can still catch it in a few venues.

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