Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Business of Being Born

   I can most definitely see why The Business of Being Born was on the “questions to ask ourselves” portion of the viewing list.  Before viewing this film, whenever I would talk to my friends about giving birth, I would have never even given a home birth a second chance, but this film has opened my eyes to aspects of the argument that I was not aware of before.
    I felt like the filmmaker’s storytelling approach was pretty successful.  It was clear from the beginning of the film the argument and perspective that was going to be portrayed, and the rest of the film followed up on that argument.  Perhaps in other documentaries a bit more of the risks of giving a home birth would have been explored to a greater capacity, but I felt like the level to which they brought up those risks in this film worked.  This was not a film that was trying to show both sides of the issue unbiasedly, and there was nothing wrong with this lean towards home births, because that is what they were arguing straightforwardly from the start. 
    There were several effective tools that were used in this film.  I think their strongest point was the fact that they got perspectives from all sorts of people involved in the issue.  It would have been a much weaker documentary if the only people arguing for the use of midwives were the midwives themselves.  The fact that they were able to get positive interview statements from midwives, women who had gone through the home birthing process, practicing doctors, as well as a celebrity really raised the influential factor up to the next level. 
    Overall, I felt it was a very enjoyable film while still making a persuasive argument.  Like I mentioned before, it was extremely effective for me.  Because I am the age and gender demographic that the film was most likely pandering towards, the fact that it made me think about something as monumental as birth in a different way really says something about the effectiveness of the film.

1 comment:

  1. It seems like this film was a popular one to watch! I feel like I've gotta see it now.

    I responded more on the thematic content in Lizi's post, but I like how you addressed the structure of the documentary itself. The structure of the documentary, like you mentioned, only becomes believable, a strong argument, and a stronger narrative with each source it uses. But... it doesn't sound like there were any women who had had a hospital birth promoting at home births or using midwives? I feel like getting the experience of someone who's "been there done that" and who then decides to speak out in the name of that cause would make it even stronger and stronger.

    I also like, that as you mentioned, it wasn't afraid to confess that it was biased, and had a bit of an agenda and purpose in mind. Sometimes that's really appropriate, and even effective.

    I felt like the "celebrity tie" might've bugged me. It seems like that would de-legitimize the whole thing: for a movie that's trying to promote this as a natural, personal, private, beautiful experience, it almost feels inappropriate to haul in the in-authenticity of celebrity agendas. Perhaps it came off more genuinely than I can imagine at this point, however.

    Thanks, Katie!