The premise of “Our Father,” streaming now on Netflix sounds like a twisted science fiction plot. Unfortunately, the film is a documentary, thus, the story is true. And for residents of Indiana there is an additional rub: the crimes occurred in Indiana.
“Our Father “: new details
Certainly almost everyone has heard of the fertility doctor who used his own biological samples to impregnate women who were longing to have children. While that premise is bad enough, the layers of depravity that such behavior entails makes for riveting viewing, even for people who think they know the whole story. They do not. Not until they watch “Our Father.”
First there is the emotional quotient. A woman explaining how, as a girl, she insisted to her mother that she was adopted. She felt different and her coloring didn’t match. While most viewers are aware of families that contain a range of eye, skin, or hair colors, to see it as a result of one doctor’s arguably selfish actions makes it riveting and poignant.
The film explores the actions of Dr. Donald Cline from, medical, legal, and personal standpoints. The various perspectives help audiences to remember why the actions of Cline’s are a problem. As viewers will find, there was no specific Indiana law to prosecute Cline.
The film shows how integral the genealogy website ancestry.com was to piecing together the plethora of children, now adults, who shared dna. All of them lived within 25 miles of Indianapolis.
The film’s title refers to Cline as unwanted biological father, and to Cline’s Christianity that came to be a point of contention with some of Cline’s children and former patients.
Perhaps the biggest surprise, or greatest frustration, is Cline’s attempt to keep one of his offspring from talking about his misdeeds by telling her the news would destroy his 57-year marriage. Audiences might grit their teeth, shake their heads at the idea of the alleged criminal wanting, or demanding, mercy.
In all, Cline has fathered almost 100 children, including his potential own grandchildren. His motive? To fill the earth with as many white babies as possible.
Even with Cline retired, 44 other doctors have been caught creating offspring illegally. Ancestry.com was integral at finding them, as well.
The story of Cline and his unwilling children is sad and frustrating. Some viewers will want to rewind to make sure they have not missed a fine point. With or without nuances, the only justice seems that Cline has been caught.