Our Father (2022)

our father poster 2022 movie documentary netflix
7.5 Overall Score


Some of the recreated shots are a bit over-the-top at points

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Our Father

Studio:  Blumhouse Television

Genre(s):  Documentary

Release Date(s):  May 11, 2022

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated

our father fertility doctor donald cline children

Some of Cline’s “children”

When Jacoba Ballard takes a DNA test to find out about her potential father, she uncovers a horrible secret as siblings begin to pop-up.  Dr. Donald Cline, the fertility doctor trusted by her parents, was most likely her father…and the father of multiple children in the surrounding area.  As Jacoba seeks justice and a means to get the truth from Cline, the system puts up roadblocks and a man who used his own sperm to follow almost one-hundred children might go free.

Directed by Lucie Jourdan, Our Father is a documentary true-crime movie.  The Netflix documentary premiered on May 11, 2022.

Watching Our Father is a bit unnerving from me.  I’m from the area where the doctor worked, I am the age of many of the children he fathered, I lived in the town where he lives, and even have some crossover work experiences with the media presented in the film…I know there is a good chance I know a child he fathered or someone affected by his crimes.

our father netflix documentary donald cline keith boyle

Nope…nothing criminal here

The story is compelling and frustrating.  The bottom line is that it is a true crime without a technical crime…which is mind-numbing and feels impossible.  Cline was hired for a job, women agreed to his treatment, and Cline provided his service…but the families who went to them didn’t know exactly what that service was.  Under the law, that wasn’t illegal at the time, but it was also almost something that could have been conceived.

The film largely circles around Jacoba and her search for justice.  She struggled to get the attention of the media and the Indiana State Attorney General and to get answers.  It is a smart way to have a touch point for the film and Jacoba’s anger and both palpable and understanding.  The film talks to a number of Cline’s “children”, but the number that are not (understandably) comfortable talking is large…and the film actually could have been expanded more if more kids had wanted to speak.  I think the length of the film is probably good because a lot of the questions start to become hypothetical since Cline never really talked to the children about his crimes.

our father jacoba ballard donald cline

He’s not getting away scott-free

The film is a strange mix.  It uses both real interviews and recreations.  Keith Boyle plays Dr. Cline in clips, and the recreated scenes are shot in very sinister and horror-esque style which emphasizes the crimes (but the real horror is scenes like one of his “daughters” realizing he had knowingly been her doctor as well).  The film also has mixes of media clips from different sources and it is all put together decently.

Our Father is a movie that is hard to gauge because it feels a bit too close.  I think some of the recreations and set-ups for some of the shots are a bit over-the-top when they don’t need to be when the actions of the doctor are so twisted.  The film is a frustrating one in that you don’t feel justice is served…Dr. Cline got what he wanted and the price he paid for it didn’t seem to match the crime…whether it was a crime by the books or not.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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