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Motherland (2017)Motherland (2017)

Motherland (2017)

An intimate and revealing look at the world’s busiest maternity hospital

Documentary, Drama

8.0

movie

Philippines, UK

Tagalog

Heart-warming, Touching

2017

Female director, Ramona S. Diaz

Anna Maxwell Martin, Diane Morgan, Ellie Haddington

94 min

Synopsis

The planet’s busiest maternity hospital is located in one of its poorest and most populous countries: the Philippines. There, poor women face devastating consequences as their country struggles with reproductive health policy and the politics of conservative Catholic ideologies.

Our Take

8.0
The Staff

The Fabella Hospital in the Philippines is clearly overburdened and understaffed, and though it offers some of the lowest pregnancy delivery rates in the country, it remains unaffordable to most of its patients. It has been dubbed the world’s busiest maternity hospital because of this, and its boundless flurry of activity is what Ramona Diaz tries to capture in her cinéma-vérité film Motherland. 

What’s interesting and ultimately heartening about the documentary is that despite the difficulties the subjects face, they are always presented with warmth and humanity. We don’t observe them from a strict or stylized distance, but rather, we move with them when they laugh, befriend each other, worry about their babies, curse their partners, and eventually leave. Indeed, the film is a land of mothers, filled with their authentic stories before anything else.

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