Category Archives: Film Reviews

Film Review: A Walk to Beautiful

Imagine urine and feces dripping from your vagina and down your legs as you go about your day, laundering and cooking and childrearing.  Imagine being divorced because you can no longer make love, and being made to live in a hut behind your family’s home because your stench is too strong.

"The World Health Organization has called fistula "the single most dramatic aftermath of neglected childbirth", estimating that more than 2 million women live with fistula worldwide."

Somehow, the stunning documentary  film A Walk to Beautiful manages to shine a beautiful and powerful light on this humiliating situation.  These stories are a tragic reality for thousands of impoverished women who suffer from Vaginal Fistula, a condition caused by prolonged childbirth.

Among these thousands are five exceptionally pretty Ethiopian women whose stories are told in A Walk to Beautiful.  One of them has been living in isolation because of her condition for six years before she hears about a special hospital that cures women like her.  The award-winning film thoroughly and artfully documents these women’s emotional and physical journeys through the healing process.

For women in developed nations, Vaginal Fistula is an uncommon complication.  Here in the U.S. Continue reading

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New Documentary Film ‘Guerrilla Midwife’ Chronicles Indonesian Midwifery After the Tsunami

Along the fragrant streets of Bali and desolate Acehnese refugee camps of the Indonesian Archipelago, Ibu Robin – A Guerrilla Midwife – perches over the red lips of volcanoes and finds herself at a time where midwifery is put to the test, when there is no technology right at the epicenter of the Earthquake and the bowels of the December 26, 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami in a culturally mesmerizing, heart-wrenching, epic documentary to show why we must change our protocols for pregnancy and childbirth back to a gentle, natural method, if our planet is to survive the dominance of mankind.

I’ve scoured the internet for any sign of a U.S. showing of this film, but alas, I am still waiting for my chance to learn about midwife Ibu Robin Lim as she supports birthing women in post-tsunami Aceh, Indonesia.  

The film has been making its way around the world, winning award after award at an amazing array of film festivals.  I’ve contacted the director, Deja Bernhardt, for information about its U.S. release.  For now, watch the trailer at the official website and help promote the film via its Facebook page.

Film Review: “Out of the Mouths of Babes,” Research on Birth & Womb Memory

This 1970’s documentary is virtually nonexistent–you can’t find it on Google, your library doesn’t carry it, and your college professor has never heard of it.  But it’s a fascinating exploration of a peripheral element of birthing that’s nearly never addressed.

The video documents research done from 1975-1981 by Dr. David Chamberlain on birth and womb memory. The research team used regressive hypnosis to explore 100 subjects’ memories of actually being born and their perceptions of the birth experience.  There are examples of mothers and their children who had never discussed the child’s birth experience before, yet while under hypnosis, the adult child recounted detailed memories of being in the womb and being born, that match the mother’s account of events. Continue reading

film review: the business of being born

the recently released docu-drama The Business of Being Born is a must-watch for anyone with a uterus, or anyone who loves someone with a uterus. it’s hard to imagine a film living up to all the hype that preceded it, but somehow, this one does.
i think it’s important to mention that this film is far from objective. BUT, i don’t think that’s a bad thing. it tells a story that so many thousands of women can identify with, to the point of tears. i am a doula, an ardent reproductive rights and natural childbirth advocate, and a staunch feminist tough-girl. and yet watching these women’s experiences brought me viscerally close to having to actually address the trauma of my own birth experience.
i would’ve been ok wih a little less on-camera Rickie Lake, but hey.