15 February 2008

Film Explores American Birth Culture

Birth is a miracle, a rite of passage and a natural part of life. But — according to former talk-show host Ricki Lake and filmmaker Abby Epstein’s film The Business of Being Born — birth is also big business in the U.S.

Lake was compelled to explore this subject after the delivery of her first child and recruited (fellow mom) Epstein to help her document and question the way American women have babies.

Epstein interviews several pregnant New York City women, some of whom are clients of Cara Muhlhahn, a midwife who, in-between filmed birth events, shares her own memories and experience with the filmmakers.

Footage of women having babies punctuates this film — as does interviews with a number of obstetricians, experts and advocates about the history, culture and economics of childbirth.

The film’s fundamental question: Should most births be viewed as a natural life process, or should every delivery be treated as a potential medical emergency?

This film presents some surprising answers that certainly make great topics of discussion amongst mothers, and is a must-see movie for anyone thinking of having a baby.

Netflix will release the DVD of The Business of Being Born (which was shown only at select theaters) on Feb 26 for rental and online viewing, including bonus material and follow up interviews with the filmmakers and their subjects. The DVD also will be available for purchase on the film’s Web site.

Dallas and Collin County residents may attend a sneak preview of the film at the Feb 23 opening of the Peppermint retail store in Richardson. The special screening will start at 11:30am and costs $5 (or free with a baby goods donation).

If you attend (or have already seen the film), tell us what you think! E-mail your thoughts to us at editorial@dallaschild.com.

1 comment:

Lori said...

Thank you for posting our screening. We've decided two show the movie twice on the 23rd! 11:30a.m. and 2 p.m.

After the screening Margie Wallis, a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator and Dinah Waranch, a Certified Nurse Midwife, will lead a discussion about the video and field questions.