Birth Rites Collection

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Andy Lawrence, 2008, Documentary Film, 56 mins


This work is a documentary film made by Andy Lawrence in collaboration with independent midwife Judith Kurutac. They met in Kurutac’s thirtieth year of practice when she supported Lawrence’s then partner, Helen Knowles (Birth Rites’ curator), through the birth of their second child at home. For Kurutac the collaboration was a chance for film to articulate pregnancy and birth. The film is a personal journey, examining the roles the collaborators play as father and midwife, stimulated by their engagement with two couples who encounter very different experiences of birth. The film draws us into an examination of the connection between birth and death to explore what role fear plays in childbirth and how the ways in which we deal with fear affect the way in which a child is born. “Our hope is to create a magical-real environment in which to go beyond the limits of our historical perspective on childbirth and its culturally bound rites, and to demonstrate an emotionally connected knowledge which can contribute to the debate on how we give birth and die.”


If you would like to purchase this film it is available from the Royal Anthropological Institute.   VIEW THE TRAILER