“I was ready for a film about midwives and mothers, but Catching Babies surprised me in its utter beauty and thoughtfulness.”
-Sarah Tarver-Wahlquist from SQUAT Birth Journal
In 2011, Catching Babies premiered with the Maternidad la Luz community at the University of Texas at El Paso. Catching Babies was selected to be a part of the White Sands International Film Festival 2012, Chagrin Falls Documentary Film Festival 2012, and the 2013 Women in Media Film Festival at Rutger’s University for Women’s History Month. Catching Babies was invited to the Midwives Alliance of North America Western Regional Conference in Phoenix, Arizona 2012 and the Black Midwives Conference in Miami, Florida in 2012. Catching Babies has screened at the University of Arizona, Arizona State University, University of Washington at Bothell and the University of Illinois at Chicago’s African American Cultural Center. Catching Babies received an “Excellence in Documenting Women’s Health” award from Puente al la Salud, a community based women’s health collective in Phoenix, Arizona.
What if we could change the world by changing the way babies are born? Catching Babies is a 60 minute documentary film that weaves the stories of mothers and midwives on the journey to bring life into the world. Filmed along the US-Mexico border in El Paso, Texas, Catching Babies follows four young women as they study midwifery at Maternidad La Luz. As the women juggle their rigorous academic struggles, they must also provide quality health care to mothers and babies. Watch the sister-midwives as they live and learn in this transformative space, which gives birth to babies, mothers and midwives.
Shot in cinema verité style, Catching Babies takes viewers into intimate spaces by using close-up shots and the ambient sounds of bustling households. Shot in the vibrant colors of this border town, the film contrasts quiet and reflective moments with the fast pace of the birthing center. The midwives narrate the happenings of the clinic on-camera as they perform the meaningful work of supporting women through the most important moments of their lives.
Art Work by Andrea Ruizquez of Oakland Partera Midwifery, Graphic Design by Chandra Narcia of Culture Is Life; Soundtrack by Ras K’dee & Teao Sense of Audiopharmacy and Marcus Shelby of the Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra