The chosen film is called No Woman, No Cry. This film is about maternal mortality worldwide. The film circles around at-risk pregnant women in four different parts of the world which includes a Massai tribe in Tanzania, a slum of Bangladesh, a post-abortion care ward in Guatemala, and a pre-natal clinic in the United States. According to Michelle Goldberg, “In recent years, maternal mortality has moved toward the center of the global agenda, much as HIV/AIDS did a decade ago.” (Goldberg, 2010). This film shows why pregnancy can be deadly for some women, especially in the poorer countries and how intervening can help make a difference.
The film follows four different women; Janet is from Tanzania and almost nearly dies in childbirth, a woman who lives in the slums of Bangladesh who feels as if she is shamed of the fact of giving birth away from home and not being treated very fairly, a doctor who is also pregnant and has to face dealing with an unsafe abortion, and finally a woman who spent weeks in the hospital from a botched abortion without a visit from her husband. According to the opening of No Woman, No Cry from YouTube, “in sub-saharan Africa, 1 in 22 women will die in pregnancy or childbirth.” (Every Mother Counts, 2013).
The cultural values are different from every country, for example, there are those who do not want to give birth in a hospital whereas there are others who prefer to give birth in a hospital. The norms are also very different in every country and the living conditions, lack of money, and lack of food do not help this matter is some places such as Tanzania or Guatemala whereas the United States prospers fairly well in that aspect in most cases. Each of the women have different perspectives on their pregnancy, some women feel an abortion is the only thing that will help whereas others feel that they do want to give birth and have their baby.
The point of the film, No Woman, No Cry is to draw attention to these problems and the fact that something can be done about it if people would care about these situations and these lives that are at stake during a pregnancy or during childbirth. Both mother and baby could die or the baby could die, or the mother could die during these seemingly harsh conditions that these individual have no control over. HIV/AIDS is also a big issue in these foreign countries because there is no known cure for AIDS but HIV can be handled with the right medications. However, once again, this is hard for some of these individuals to afford the needed help they need. The fact that statistics show that many women are at risk of dying in pregnancy or childbirth, without having anything do to help them is also a big issue.
According to Karen Valby, “Each day 1,000 women die in childbirth, which is but one of the documentary’s many terrifying statistics.” (Valby, 2011). Cultural change makes a difference during the film because each of the women introduced live in different parts of the world and each country has different norms and standards than others. These changes mainly have to do with the different countries introduced and shows each country’s living arrangements, and how these women are living in their country, which then shows just how hard and difficult this can be for the woman’s pregnancy and childbirth.
- Goldberg, M. (2010). Christy Turlington’s Labor of Love. Retrieved from http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2010/06/09/christy-turlingtons-new-documentary-no-woman-no-cry.html
- Every Mother Counts, (2013). No Woman, No Cry- First 17 Minutes. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7g0fsPxZXI
- Valby, K. (2011). Christy Turlington’s ‘No Woman, No Cry’: Every Mother Counts. Retrieved from http://www.ew.com/article/2011/05/08/christy-turlington-no-woman-no-cry