Ricki Lake's The Business of Being Born
Last April, I wrote about actress Ricki Lake's documentary, The Business of Being Born. At the time, the film had not yet been released and was getting buzz mostly because Lake appears in the movie in all her naked, pregnant glory, giving birth to her son Owen. But now that it has been released, albeit in a limited number of theaters, the movie is getting attention for the reasons Lake intended: its unflinching look at the reality of giving birth in America today.
Produced by Lake and directed by Abby Epstein, the documentary asks a fundamental question: Should most births be viewed as a natural life process, or should every delivery be treated as a potentially catastrophic medical emergency?
In the United States, the answer seems to be the latter. The film examines our maternity care system from historical, political and scientific points of view and declares it to be in crisis. With hospitals focused on the fast turnover of beds and the monetary bottom line, the documentary makes a case for natural childbirth.
I've not seen the entire documentary yet, but the trailer is enough to make me want to. It is currently showing only in a few theaters in California and will be in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Seattle, Washington next month. It might eventually make it to your town, but even it it doesn't, you can get it through Netflix or buy the DVD online.
Ricki Lake(click thumbnails to view gallery)
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