Sat, 09/01/2012 - 00:00 – NewEnglandFilm.com
Video is no longer available online.
Twelve women explore how their bodies have been transformed by giving birth. We see body images and hear their voices. They talk to us from their bodies. We hear and see their ambivalence, humor and love. The film began when I learned that one of the fastest growing plastic surgeries was the post-birth tummy tuck. I thought about what it meant that we want to erase the signs that we have delivered children. I was driven to create a film that reframes and destabilizes our reactions to a woman’s body after she has given birth. The film builds on the tradition of body artists like Carolee Schneeman and Ana Mendieta, who used the transgressive presentation of violence and eroticism to shock and challenge. In “BirthMarkings” we chose to explore what one of the women in the film called the “public reaction of disgust and horror” to images of her post birth belly. In a nip-tuck driven culture that is inured to violence and erotica; a culture in which babies are often seen as the latest accessory, what is transgressive is the image of a woman’s abdomen that is not taut, and unmarked by birth. “Birthmarkings” challenges the static, commodified images that are everywhere in our public culture and define what is beautiful and visually acceptable. We refocus on the beauty, dynamism and lived experiences of the marks of birth. We become engaged in the tension between the dynamic and the static and the natural world and the commodity.
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