Tuesday, September 5, 2017
To be perfectly honest I only agreed to see MOTHERLAND because I had some time. It turned out to be a wise decision since the film blew me away. It is a glorious look at life in a maternity hospital in Manila with a group of women and their babies who will steal you heart.
Beginning with admission of a woman who has had for kids in for years who was now on baby five in five years the film zooms through several days in the hospital where we get to see things which will stick in our heads forever. Consider the arrival of a very pregnant woman getting out of a very crowded scooter taxi, to the woman going into labor who refused to give p her money because she didn't want to her husband to have it, the two men sitting and holding their premature babies talking to each other and the kids about the future, or the poverty sch as the father who couldn't be with his wife because he couldn't get the equivalent of 39 American cents for the taxi ride
I was moved to tear, to laugh and to smile- wide mouth stupid ass smiles brought on by these feisty young mothers charging into their lives. There is a melancholy sense about some of it, as we know the multiple pregnancies will keep them from living lives that could have them reach their true potential (as one nurse tells one of the mothers) but at the same time their is a strength in the woman that lets you accept their choices.
Structured to follow as the women go in, are admitted, deliver and eventually are discharged the film is a wonderful slice of life. With in the films 90 plus minutes we really get a sense of place and people with the result that our jaded western eyes are less jaded by the end.
This is spectacular filmmaking. AN odd thing to say about such a simple film, but rarely has a doc with bells and whistles been this moving and this affecting.
If you see documentaries because you truly want to learn and understand then you must see MOTHERLAND, one of the truly great documentaries of 2017