Today at The Clinton: Tuesday, Jan 18

REEL FEMINISM: The Motherhood Archives

REEL FEMINISM: The Motherhood Archives


Gather ’round, feminist film lovers, In Other Words has teamed up with the Clinton Street Theater to present Reel Feminism: a film series highlighting movies directed by women and genderqueer individuals that have a feminist perspective or address feminist topics.

Engaging, inspiring, sometimes difficult to watch, these films are followed by a facilitated audience discussion.

Clear your calendar for the 4th Monday of every month at 7 PM, and join the Reel Feminism Facebook group for more information.

Irene Lusztig
91 minutes

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. From the first use of anesthetic ether in the 19th century to the postmodern 21st century hospital birthing suite, THE MOTHERHOOD ARCHIVES charts a fascinating course through the cultural history of pain, the history of obstetric anesthesia, and the little-known international history of the natural childbirth and Lamaze movements. Revealing a world of intensive training, rehearsal, and performative preparation for the unknown that is ultimately incommensurate with experience, THE MOTHERHOOD ARCHIVES is a meditation on the maternal body as a site of institutional control, ideological surveillance, medical knowledge, and nationalist state intervention. Finally, the film works as a feminist recuperation of obsolete maternal histories, as a visual analysis of the persistent disciplining of the pregnant / laboring body, and as a new, contemporary counter-archive of women’s experiential narratives.

Special Admission

$5-10 sliding scale with everything over $5 going to support the work of In Other Words Feminist Community Center and Bookstore.