The Center for Documentary Arts & Research present: The Motherhood Archives, dir. Irene Lusztig (2013; 91 minutes)
Co-Sponsored by the departments of Anthropology, Feminist Studies and Film & Digital Media
Introduction by Neda Atanasoski (Feminist Studies)
Post-screening discussion with the filmmaker and Nancy Chen (Anthropology), Jenny Horne (Film & Digital Media), and Felicity Schaeffer (Feminist Studies)
Archival montage, science fiction, and an homage to 70s feminist filmmaking are woven together to form this haunting and lyrical essay film excavating hidden histories of childbirth in the twentieth century. Assembling an extraordinary archive of over 100 educational, industrial, and medical training films (including newly rediscovered Soviet and French childbirth films), The Motherhood Archives inventively untangles the complex, sometimes surprising genealogies of maternal education. Revaling a world of intensive training, rehearsal, and performative preparation for the unknown that is ultimately incommensurate with experience, The Motherhood Archives is a mediation on the maternal body as a site of institutional control, ideological surveillance, medical knowledge, and nationalist state intervention.