35 years after its original release, The Chicago Maternity Center Story has once again made a stirring impact on viewers. Screening from a pristine new print at the Siskel Film Center in Chicago, and followed by a panel discussion including the original filmmakers, current members of the home birth movement, and Sharene Miller - who is seen giving birth on her dining room table in the film - the provocative and informative film received some strong responses in a survey we handed out to the audience. Here's some of our favorite comments:
- "Quite profound. Important history for current healthcare reform."
- "I would not have known of the center otherwise. As a female I'll definitely research home birthing for myself. I am 27 and I've grown up never questioning the process of hospital births until recently. I just kind of assumed that's just the way it is. I'm glad I've been exposed to "alternative" birthing methods and will definitely look further into these alternatives. Thank you for creating the film and showing it even several decades later so more generations can be exposed to it."
- "I did not have any sense of history of women in Chicago's health activism. I now plan to incorporate this information in my middle school classroom."
- "Excellent film. I was impressed by the clarity of the political analysis presented, as well as by the aesthetics of the film."
- "Wonderfully informative. I am a student nurse midwife in Chicago and have never heard of the Chicago Maternity Center. Thank you for sharing. As someone who desires to provide homebirth services to the under-served, I will embrace the beautiful history of a long tradition of homebirth in Chicago."
- "Wonderful. It was energizing to current activists and empowering to all who care about women's health."
- "Excellent film, but depressing to see how little has changed. I learned that home birth isn't just for hippies. Not that there's anything wrong with hippies."
- "Incredible . Excellent research, filmmaking and storytelling. Completely affected and enhanced my perception of birthing and health care issues. This film made me want to take action and I will."
With a noted tradition of nurturing emerging talent and acting as a leading voice for independent media, Kartemquin is building on more than 50 years of history as Chicago’s documentary powerhouse.
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