Film Review by Kam Williams
Female Empowerment Documentary Extols the Benefits of Nursing
Precious few mothers in America follow the World Health Organization’s recommendation that newborns be breastfed exclusively for the first six months of life. Why the rush to formula, when nursing is not only natural and healthier, but cheaper and fosters the baby-mom bond?
Unfortunately, we live in a culture which discourages women from breastfeeding at every turn, starting soon after birth where infants are often introduced to the bottle right in the hospital. After all, formulas are a billion-dollar business, and it is in a manufacturer’s financial interest to wean a little one off mommy’s nipple, and the sooner the better.
That’s why most mothers are provided a starter kit of bottles and formula upon being discharged. Even those exhibiting an interest in breastfeeding are pressured by their doctors to at least purchase a $300 pump, the subtle suggestion being that they might not be able to produce enough milk on their own.
Truth be told, lactation is an uncomplicated bodily function which rarely needs any assistance. But we live in a culture where corporate interests and Puritanical values have conspired to shame females away from following their instincts. Yes, it’s may be legal to breastfeed in public, yet so many moms feel guilty anyway about exercising their right to do so.
Directed by Dana Ben-Ari, Breastmilk is a most enlightening documentary which extols a variety of nursing’s benefits, ostensibly with the goal of mainstreaming what sadly remains taboo in so many social circles. The film’s primary focus is the daily regimen of about ten breastfeeding families, though it also features interviews with a few of the age-old practice’s more eloquent, academic advocates.
An empowering reminder of a woman’s body’s remarkable ability to provide sustenance in abundance.
Excellent (4 stars)
Running time: 91 minutes
Studio: Aleph Pictures
Distributor: Cavu Pictures