Movie Reviews

“Babies”…i can’t recall if i’ve already blogged about this movie, but i’ma gonna repeat myself here if i did. it’s cute. it’s insightful. you should watch it. it follows families from san francisco, namibia (africa), mongolia, and tokyo during the first year of their newborn’s life. fascinating the difference between cultures in every day care of the baby (how and how often they are held, how independent they are encouraged to be, what sort of supervision they have on them, how they are fed, etc) and the apparent satisfaction of the babies. too much stimulation (tons of toys, tv, music) was shown as frustrating to one baby in tokyo, while being left alone in the house, literally soft tied to the bed and playing with a roll of toilet paper was the happiest thing in the world to the mongolian baby. it appears that swaddling is a must. kids left to their own devices will climb rusty gates and get nibbled on my livestock, but they show no fear. they will also play in the slop bucket until caught by mom and disciplined. 🙂 anyway, it was fun and i encourage a viewing. not really a documentary, as in the only points that were made were from the editing/our observations. but really fun. the only thing that disappointed me is that they don’t show any of the birthing/labor practices. they’re laboring for 3 seconds and then they cut to the baby already out. postpartum care isn’t much covered either- except, in the case of the mongolian woman, they show her the next day hopping on the back of her husband’s motorcycle with her 4 year old and day old baby and heading for home…

“The Business of Being Born”… ricki lake produced- is definitely a documentary with a thesis. which is: hospital births are bad because doctors are in charge and they are only interested in haste and covering their asses legally and not allowing births to proceed naturally or for women to overcome birthing issues by instinct and strength. most of the women interviewed had previous hospital births that didn’t go well or they felt like they were pushed into certain interventions they hadn’t wanted and are now seeking alternative options for a subsequent pregnancy. i really appreciated that the midwife they followed primarily through the film was a trained labor & delivery nurse with a masters in midwifery. she encouraged and supported natural home births, but also warned all her moms about the potential dangers they could face and discussed their backup plan should there be an emergency. she also went to her deliveries with oxygen, saline and iv stuff (including pitocin- the labor inducing drug they speak so negatively about), among other medical supplies. there was another wonderful midwife that worked out of an alternative birthing center. these are great examples of practitioners providing the safe and competent care their patients are seeking. however, i don’t really think they represented caring, sacrificial, and compassionate ob/gyn’s at all (they are out there!), but ah well. they were making a point. so it was an interesting documentary worth watching, but (like most documentaries) was quite one sided. oh, and you will see lots of naked boobs, including ricki lake’s. you’ve been warned.

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