Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Monday Movie Review

Mother's Day was cold and wet and I like to be warm and dry, but we made the most of the day by doing my favorite thing (rearranging the furniture), playing co-operative games, and watching movies. Rob topped it off by making pancakes for breakfast and tomato risotto and asparagus from Saturday's first Farmer's Market of the season for lunch/dinner. I wish I had a picture of the risotto and asparagus because it was pretty and Parker and Josie really enjoyed it (Dema napped through it). I highly recommend roasting asparagus in olive oil and salt and pepper if you have someone in the house who isn't an asparagus lover, it will convert them.

Something the Lord Made
It was fitting that Parker and I watched this together, especially on Mother's Day. I am glad I picked this out from Netflix, although we both found it tough to watch at times. I have to get this comment out of the way...there is a lot of vivisection in this movie and I'm anti-vivisection, but I looked past this to see the merit of this movie. Parker was very worried about the dogs and what happened to them during and after the surgery. We haven't talked a lot about vivisection before, but this movie open the door to some future discussion. The movie was quite good, in my opinion. It dealt with issues of race, gender, "alternative learning", and medical politics. Having a child with a congenital heart defect who has gone through open-heart surgery it was especially moving and interesting. It brought up a lot of questions from Parker about his own experience. When we found out about Parker's heart defect, I started reading everything I could find on his particular heart issues (nothing as complex as Tetralogy of Fallot which is the CHD discussed in the movie) and I was amazed at how new procedures were being discovered and new treatments in such a short amount of time. This movie really highlighted this point for me, how relatively new heart surgery is on children and how far we have come. The race issues also brought up a lot of questions from Parker. We've read a lot about Martin Luther King Jr. and there are some great children's books out there about racism, but he was very interested in how things played out in the movie regarding treating people a certain way based on the color of their skin. I definitely would like to read more with Parker about Vivien Thomas and the history of CHD treatments.

Pierrepoint: The Last Hangman
While I don't suggest watching this with young children and wouldn't say it was a Mother's Day film, we did watch it and it was very good. The acting was spot on and as someone who is against the death penalty, I thought the message was a good one. I was amazed at how complex the main character turned out to be and it kept my interest throughout the film. It was very British and I really like that. It might be a good way to ease into a discussion on capital punishment with older children (teens, maybe?). It isn't unnecessarily graphic, but it does have hard to watch scenes. The amount of people this man (it is based on a true story) killed during his time as a "hang man" is enough to turn one's stomach. I am glad I didn't watch this right before bed. It is not the best of humanity, but more than that, it shows how the cogs of the government machine can go on and on doing something which the people don't want or approve of. Sound familiar?

The Business of Bei
ng Born
I watched this a little while ago thanks to my friend Emily and Netflix. I thought I'd leave you with this one because it really is a Mother's Day type of movie. I had high hopes for the film and I thought it was good, moving, and something which mainstream USA needs to see. I can't deny a tinge of disappointment though. It is probably because I am surrounded (thankfully so) by friends who are involved in supporting women birth in one way or another. I really wish Ricki Lake had come to my little town in Illinois or others just like it all over the country instead of just showing the NYC side of things. I was also a tad sad they ended on the birth they did, but it is still definitely worth a watch and I think for many women (sooo many, too many) out there who have experienced a unnecessarily highly medicalized birth, this movie might be healing. This is worth it, in my book, if they receive some peace from the movie or if it renews their faith in their bodies. I am so glad it is out there and I am very fortunate that I had the information I needed prior to my three births to have exactly the birth experience I wanted for myself and my family. I hope this movie provides a springboard for other women to know what their options really are.


Lisa said...

i, too, was a little disappointed with the business of being born. i was expecting it to a little more edgy. but i do think for the mainstream american audience it's exactly as it should be. it at least gets the ball rolling for the conversation to start about maternity care in north america.

ProgressiveKid said...

Hi, Vegan Linda. Thanks for your post on Mother's Day activities. We love cooperative games around here too, as well as an occasional vicious bout of Go Fish, but I wanted to share a great cooperative activity we did when our daughter was home sick from school (all last week and this!). We took a piece of poster paper and all drew a magical land on the paper, sort of as if it were an illustrated map. My daughter called it Daisy Magic Land. She was so proud that she wanted to take it with her to school today to show her teacher and classmates. It was a good transition back to school.

Thanks again!