Now Streaming: “Our Father” on Netflix


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 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. 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.

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Dodie Miller-Gould is a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana who lives in New York City where she studies creative nonfiction at Columbia University. She has BA and MA degrees in English from Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne, and an MFA in Fiction from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her research interests include popular music and culture, 1920s jazz, and blues, confessional poetry, and the rhetoric of fiction. She has presented at numerous conferences in rhetoric and composition, and creative writing. Her creative works have appeared in Tenth Muse, Apostrophe, The Flying Island, Scavenger's Newsletter and elsewhere. She has won university-based awards for creative work and literary criticism.

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