directed by Ramona S. Diaz, USA/ Philippines 2017, 95'
The Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital in Manila is considered the largest obstetrics clinic in the world—or at least the busiest, with hundreds of children born there every day. Wandering around the overcrowded corridors and peeking into delivery rooms, Diaz continuously adds subjects to her film, including patients, their relatives and doctors. And she captures all the juicy details: somewhere among the crowds, a newborn dies; staff make reassuring announcements through a hoarse megaphone. Her constant movement is conducive to new interactions, all the more so since two mothers are usually assigned to every bed. Hardly any of them have reached the age of 30 yet, but the majority have already been patients at the hospital several times—contraception is not very popular in the Philippines. Despite the crowds and the lack of equipment—instead of incubators, it is recommended that the mothers of premature babies warm them using their own body heat—the eponymous Motherland is, for most patients, a refuge where they can take a break from the grim reality of everyday life.
- 2017 Berlinale
- 2017 Sundance FF (Winner: World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Commanding Vision)