We are excited and honored to have participated in a ground-breaking new documentary about physiologic birth, These Are My Hours. Emily is the subject of the film, and gives birth on camera. Carey serves as her midwife. The intent behind our involvement in this project is to bring awareness of undisturbed birth to birthing families all over the world, and remind people that there is more to birth than just "getting a baby out."
THESE ARE MY HOURS
is a mesmerizing observational documentary about Emily Graham’s physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual experience of giving birth at home in Greenville, South Carolina. A full sensory immersion into an undisturbed birth at home, this is the first film shot entirely during a woman’s labor, told from her perspective.
A prevalent cultural narrative is that women cannot give birth on their own; that they are not mentally, psychologically, or physically strong enough. Because the female body is framed as inadequate, giving birth has become a surgical procedure; in effect, medically treating a woman’s labor for her. By not telling the “other” story of labor, by not presenting authentic representations of birth, we have stripped it of its dignity and matrilineal origins.
Fiction films depict birth as grossly abbreviated or slapstick. The portrayal of a laboring woman, as in “Knocked Up,” is invariably histrionic. And in documentaries, labor itself is always a secondary or tertiary element of the storyline. When a birth is shown, it is from a distance, diminishing its intimacy and impact; and, crucially, the woman is almost exclusively positioned as the object, not the subject. Cinema endlessly honors the warrior, gladiator and superhero, but has never accorded the same recognition to the childbearing woman. And beyond film, there is not one book or play solely about one woman’s labor. "These Are My Hours" is the first to tell this story.