Motherland is an absorbingly intimate look at the busiest maternity hospital on the planet, in one of the world’s most populous countries, the Philippines. Childbirth is often a communal process, with a team of nurses, doctors and loved ones simultaneously witnessing the miracle of life. In one Philippines hospital, “communal” is an understatement.
In this film, director Ramona S. Diaz, an award-winning Asian-American filmmaker best known for compelling character-driven documentaries that combine a profound appreciation for cinematic aesthetics and potent storytelling, takes us into one of the busiest maternity wards on Earth at Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital. Filled with warmth, humor, and heartache, Motherland is a vérité portrait of childbirth–with all its joys and challenges depicted on screen. It is also a fascinating study of a country where conservative Catholic ideas about childbirth and contraception prevail, making the film an ideal starting point for conversations about reproductive health care policy.
While the director has focused exclusively on stories of Filipinos and Filipino Americans, the themes of her stories are universal. Her films have screened and won awards at Sundance Film Festival, Berlinale International Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival and many other top-tier film festivals. About Motherland, Diaz said, “The joy felt at Fabella is no different from the joy experienced by mothers and fathers worldwide. But because the film takes place in the Philippines, I invite audiences to witness similar situations from the starkly different perspective of a poor, densely populated, Catholic country. I hope that in viewing this film, audiences will discover the connective tissue that binds us all as members of the global community of caregivers.”
This event is a collaboration with POV, the award-winning independent non-fiction film series on PBS www.pbs.org/pov.
Free and are open to the public.
The film will also be shown on Monday, January 8, at 7 PM.