Those given to the idea that human childbirth is sacred are sure to find Birth Story: Ina May Gaskin and The Farm Midwives right up their alley. Those who think birth is a purely biological process might want to steer clear.
This documentary is so one-sided, it perhaps unintentionally maintains that having a baby in a hospital with a doctor is unusual. OK. Fine. Documentaries have biases. There are plenty of forgotten folk singers better than Rodriguez, but Searching for Sugar Man is what we get.
So Birth Story: Ina May Gaskin and The Farm Midwives is what we get. It’s dogmatic; there’s nothing in it to suggest there are any problems with midwifery. (Gaskin does admit that obstetricians and, sometimes, C-sections are necessary.) But she is firmly skeptical of doctors and hospitals, and the filmmakers don’t present an alternative view.
Again, fine. That doesn’t make Birth Story unworthy of viewing. It’s just not going to be every viewer’s cup of tea (especially during the breech birth portion of the movie). There’s more than one way to have a baby, and that’s part of the point. Most interesting are the opinions of former Farm members who have fond, but complicated, memories of the Farm experience.
BIRTH STORY: INA MAY GASKIN
AND THE FARM MIDWIVES
Directed by Sara Lamm and Mary Wigmore
With Ina May Gaskin