Our Father (2022) review – Jourdan’s film is one of sickening hubris

By Marc Miller
Published: May 4, 2022 (Last updated: May 5, 2022)
Netflix documentary film Our Father (2022)


Equally enthralling, sickening, and astonishing, Our Father was made to no longer silence Dr. Cline’s victims.

This review of the Netflix documentary film Our Father (2022) does contain spoilers. It will stream on May 13th, 2022.    

“He raped me fifteen times and didn’t even know it,” one of Dr. Cline’s victims tells the camera. The excellent doctor inseminated her that she often became pregnant with her child, Matt. The man would walk down the hallway in his fertility clinic, which was the only one in the country specializing in male donor insemination. When he entered the specimen room, he was supposed to grab a donation from a medical student or the biological father. What he did was something so much more sinister, arrogant, disgusting, and equally puzzling.

Our Father documents the story of the atrocities of Dr. Donald Cline and how one woman started his downfall. Jacoba Ballard suspected she was adopted when her mother told her that she was the result of infertility treatment and a donor sample. Jacoba then did the online, independent DNA testing to see if she had any siblings. Her mother and the doctor told Jacoba that one donor would only be used three times. So, in theory, Jacoba could only have three siblings (except for pregnancies of twins or more, etc.). Then why did ten come back? When Jacoba found a half-sibling named BLANK, why did he have 3,000 hits?

This Blumhouse production, you may think, is something from a World War Two science fiction film that is equivalent to an Adolf Hitler wet dream, but it is all too real. This can only be described as some play from Dr. Cline to create his brand of the master race. In a scene early on in the documentary film, when he meets with the byproduct of his victims, he takes a headcount, a sheet of paper, and asks them all their names and what they do for a profession as if he wants to see what he put out into the world and the result, and is expecting a round of applause for his effort. 

In her directorial debut, investigative news producer Lucie Jourdan (MNSBC Undercover) recreates scenes with actors, but all of the audio you hear from Dr. Cline is real. Per interviews with his staff and coworkers, Dr. Cline bordered on cruel. If you crossed him, he would be. In what may be an ironic twist, when Dr. Cline begs Jacoba to stop pursuing this because it would ruin his marriage, she perhaps displays family traits. This crosses Jacoba, which fueled her to unveil the story to anyone who could hear it. After two years before someone at the Attorney General’s Office eventually decided to pursue the case, her tenacity and resiliency in a dogged pursuit finally paid off. 

There are so many angles at play here with Our Father. What you have is not only a real-life horror film but another where women are used, abused, and silenced by a macro-based system that works against them. Jourdan’s documentary film is one of sickening hubris of a man that violated boundaries and human decency with endless ramifications. There is also the component of mental health issues that deal with the loss of identity while highlighting the history of white supremacy that has deep roots in Christianity.

Equally enthralling, sickening, and astonishing, Our Father was made to no longer silence Dr. Cline’s victims.

What did you think of the Netflix documentary film Our Father? Comment below!

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