For anyone who has ever had a baby, ever considered having a baby, or is due any day, this film is for you.
After enduring the horror of a forceps delivery with her own child, Ina May Gaskin was determined to find a better way to give birth. In 1971, she and her husband Stephen founded The Farm, a experimental community in rural Tennessee, that featured one of the very first midwifery centres in the US. But it was the publication of her book Spiritual Midwifery in 1977 that brought world-wide attention to the rights of women to have babies without undue medical intervention, aided only by family, friends and a competent, confident midwife.
After some forty years of delivering babies, the mother of midwifery remains a cheerfully unflappable presence, possessed of an equal measure of good sense and wry humour. Arguing for midwifery as an essential part of the birthing process, Ina May also believes it a critical part of creating empowered and confident mothers.
From crowning to the final climatic moment of delivery, remarkable footage of women in labour provide a riveting look at the most fundamental of human dramas.
"Warm, spirited and occasionally slathered in goo, Birth Story is a celebratory tribute to the endangered art of midwifery and its most influential practitioner... A disarming example of documentary filmmaking that stakes out an opinion with plain-spoken, commonsensical wisdom, this insightful effort from directors Sara Lamm and Mary Wigmore doubles as a defense of natural childbirth and an affectionate look back at the movement's '70s countercultural roots." -- Variety
Winner of the Audience Award at the 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival