Monday, November 19, 2007

thoughts re: 'the business of being born' documentary

My church screened the new documentary The Business of Being Born Saturday. From an art/critical/analytical stance, the movie is not wonderful; it's OK. The content was great, and it was empowering to see this information in a film that's getting some attention, but I doubt that the AMA is going to watch it and think, "Oh, wow. Our whole profession has fucked up royally."

It's infuriating to see some of the doctor's arrogant contentment with being completely ignorant of the natural process of birth. Many had never witnessed a non-medicated birth. I really think, based on my acquaintances' birth stories, that most doctors haven't. There was a lot of talk about the "cascade of interventions" and some exposition to show how interfering in labor creates fucked up labors.

I was very moved that Ricki Lake (who is the executive producer) let Abby Epstein include footage of Ricki's homebirth. It was so incredibly beautiful. I feel like her being a public figure and knowing that people gawk and gossip and judge,  but being vulnerable and showing her body in its most intimate, intense moment is a kind of a little gift to women as a whole. An offering to try to help bring back our ownership of our bodies.

The showing here was a benefit for the WV chapter of a midwives organization whose name I can't remember right now. They held an informal little discussion afterward. I left feeling some kind of emotional charge and purging that was hard to process.

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