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Born Screening news

Posted by Andy Lawrence Posted: Thu 9th Oct, 00:10:54

For documentation of screening events and audio interviews see  our update page

Born trailer

Posted by Andy Lawrence Posted: Wed 4th Jun, 12:13:31

To view this video you will need the flash plugin installed on a javascript enabled browser.

Born is the journey of a father and a midwife, brought to life by the filmmaker’s engagement with two couples who undergo very different experiences of childbirth. Beautiful and mesmeric, Born is an open consideration resonating with the connection between birth and death and the fear inherent in both these momentous processes.

visit our film page at http://www.therai.org.uk/fs/film-sales/born/


Posted by Phoebe MORTIMER Posted: Thu 29th May, 16:11:03


"...his film beautifully captures the confusion and complexity of the male perspective"

                                                                         Joanna Moorhead, The Guardian 2008

"For once the immediacy of actual childbirth does not eclipse the poignant fact that through this physical, visceral process, a new life begins and another journey starts."

                                                                  Phoebe Mortimer, 2008

“This is undoubtedly the work that captured my attention more than any other in the exhibition.  Andy spent three years working with Judith to produce this powerful piece of film documentary.  By using an eclectic range of methods, the film manages to transfix the audience for the full 55 minutes of delivery…..

….Andy is unrepentantly honest about the cathartic nature of the endeavour.  Yet both the births are presented in a no-holds-barred sort of way, sparing the audience from any measure of sentimentality.  This film would make an amazing educational resource for midwife teachers and childbirth educators, as well as others.”                 

Lorna Kirk, Practising Midwife 2008

“A very intense and gripping film, Born is marked by an immediacy and purity of instance. The images in this film are hard to confront yet the film leaves us quiet and composed for it subtly gestures towards man’s ultimate insignificance before nature.” 

Aparna Sharma, Women’s Feature Service 2009


Posted by Andy Lawrence Posted: Tue 27th May, 17:19:27


After 12 cuts and many days in the edit suite Judith and I have settled on an hour long version of the film now called Born.  

visit http://www.therai.org.uk/fs/film-sales/born/ for further information


Andy Lawrence spent over three years in an intimate collaboration with Judith Kurutac, gaining insight into her life’s work as an independent midwife. Their film Born is one of journeys; literally, as Andy travels around the country in search of the birth experience, and metaphorically, as we see two new entries into life and reflect on death and loss with Judith’s ageing mother.

Andy follows the narrative of his own journey into fatherhood as he shows us first the birth of Kiera by caesarean section in Blackburn and then, Nancy, at home in Manchester with Judith. Both births are equally mesmeric as we witness how different even the first few minutes of the two lives of two girls born in the same year not 50 miles apart can be. The anxieties and considerations of the mothers seem comparatively straightforward, while the two fathers, along with Andy, seem to search for a role at the edge of the process, moving between feelings of love, concern, excitement and detachment from the physical process. At the same time we get to see the dedication, calm and extreme tenderness of Judith’s practice, thrown into relief by the kind but hectic caesarean birth. Acceptance of the pain Judith has encountered in her own life leads to her stoical approach; she allows for the fear inherent in birth but tempers it with trust and belief in her women, alongside unremitting support.

The resulting film is a melancholic consideration, where for once the immediacy of actual childbirth does not eclipse the poignant fact that through this physical, visceral process a new life begins and another journey starts.

Through a meticulous and steady connection with each couple, unpacking their experiences through intimate, corporeal footage, the audience faces the fear and euphoria of each situation:  Where at one point a needle, longer than possibly imaginable is extracted from Sharon’s spine as the camera hovers between this and her dejected face. At another moment Helen texts on her mobile phone to her partner who is stuck in traffic between the final contractions as their baby glides into this world.  Emotionally challenging, raw and complex, we wonder at the meaning behind our entry to this world and how our babies are cared for at that point of entry.

The humanity of each situation laced with humour and attention to detail is emblematic of the filmmaker's style. Woven with landscapes, in normal circumstances seen only fleetingly, but here, shot on motorway bridges arching over north Manchester or bracing hilltops in Wiltshire, the viewer relishes snatches of our world but not as we have seen it before. Andy echoes the otherworldly space we enter in birth, where fields of golden grass undulate time and stretch our senses.

In Born the father is a mysterious and sometimes-awkward figure, who in Andy’s presence reveals his uneasiness and uncertainty about the caesarean his wife is about to undergo. An unforgettable moment, where lost for words, the camera comes to rest on the plastic footwear worn in the operating theatre. Uncomfortably long, the shot stretches time and space as Paul attempts to joke about his last experience looking out from a hospital window as the rain beats heavily and a woman stands as if in a monsoon, alone on a traffic island. This is contrasted sharply with Matt who, with his partner Helen’s blessing, is absent from her birth.  A beautiful moment caught from the stairs of their house, we witness the first words exchanged as Matt arrives back from his motorway journey to see his new daughter.

Throughout these scenes, it is the rare glimpses into the mind of a midwife that enable the audience to connect the birth process and the world in which we reside. A highlight of this is a conversation between Judith and her mother, well into her eighties, where she elucidates the fear of death, which Judith is confronted with every time she practises and understands deeply by the early loss of her father. Andy leaves us with the knowledge Judith has imparted to him that, “childbirth can never truly be without fear, but it is the ways in which we deal with that fear that effect the ways a child is born.”

Posted by Andy Lawrence Posted: Wed 25th Jul, 20:14:50

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