Monday, May 18, 2009

All My Babies

Weekends are good things. They are especially good things if they are full of farmers market rhubarb, sheep sheering demonstrations and "All My Babies".

I first heard about this amazing little film a few months ago when it was playing at the Anthology Film Archives. I didn't get a chance to see it then but, put it on my Netflicks account and, finally, got around to watching it on Saturday night.

The film was made in 1953 as an educational tool for midwives. It follows an African-American midwife, Miss Mary, in her care of two pregnangt mothers. So much of this film took me by surprise (in a really good way). The treatment of black midwives was respectful and the the film takes great pains to highlight how crucial these woman were within their rural communities. The film addresses issues such as depression in pregnancy, nutrition, and care of a premature baby. Additionally, the film shows a live birth! Much of the film focuses on the sterile techniques that the midwives practiced and it was a treat to see the contents of a "homebirth" bag in the 50's.

I would also suggest watching the "special feature" commentary, as well. Her grandson describes the phenomenal number of babies that Miss Mary caught as well as the deep dedication that she showed towards her mothers.

How you seen this film? What is your favorite birth movie?

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