Little Man (2005)
Documentary filmmaker Nicole Conn and her life partner, Gwen Baba, were already parents of a little girl named Gabrielle when they decided it was time to have a second child. Due to health problems, Conn and Baba chose to have a surrogate mother bear the child, but they discovered in time that the mother they chose was not completely honest about certain health issues, and due to the dangerously slow development of the fetus, a bit more than three months before the baby's due date, doctors advised Conn and Baba to abandon the pregnancy. Conn sternly refused to do so, and young Nicholas was born by cesarean section one hundred days early. The baby spent nearly all of its first five months of life in the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Center of their hospital, and once he was able to go home, Nicholas still required feeding tubes and frequent visits to his medical team. The strain of taking care of Nicholas took a major toll on Conn and Baba's relationship, as well as their relationship with Gabrielle, and the expense and difficulty of caring for a child who will never lead a fully normal life leads many of their friends and acquaintances to wonder if their actions were for the sake of their son or a supreme indulgence of their desire for another child. Nicole Conn captured the ordeal of her first years with Nicholas on digital video, and Little Man is a feature-length documentary which explores the long and often painful road she and Gwen Baba followed on the road to their second baby. Little Man was screened as part of the 2005 San Francisco Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. … More
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Critic Reviews for Little Man
While Conn's story is inherently compelling, it's pretty much ruined in the telling thanks to her unnerving choice to fill it with a twinkling piano-heavy score, florid narration, and trembling slow-motion.
The film leaves viewers with the odd sensation of having peered into the most intimate details of other people's lives, without acquiring much beyond surface impressions.
able to powerfully bring to mind some touching issues and blur the line of hard decision making
Like her own admitted inability to see Nicholas' situation through anything other than a 'mother's eyes,' Conn is also unable to view her film objectively, even as it grows overlong and ungainly.
An emotionally powerful record of a remarkable little boy's fight to live.
Your baby is near death. Instead of dropping everything to save his life, you make sure the video camera keeps rolling.
With her penchant for frilly romance and sentimentality, the focus is often, cloyingly, on Conn as the heroine of the story, the mother who (sob!) wouldn't give up.
Given the subject matter, this new world of manufactured disability, as Conn describes it, is often gripping and moving.
Little Man is an unusually honest film about the ambiguity of maternal love.
An experiment in the brave new world of same-sex child-bearing goes badly and is turned into a film.
What lingers are the images of Nicholas's manhandling by a host of dispassionate medicos and a sense that 'quality of life' is a much shakier concept than we could've imagined.
Tells a tale rife with implications about abortion and the consequences of modern medical technological progress.
A deeply personal, often wrenching documentary that raises pertinent and difficult questions about choices made and their potential ramifications.
A powerful and challenging documentary that will affect audiences long after they've passed through the lobby.
An altogether riveting portrait of motherly devotion at its most primal.
Audience Reviews for Little Man
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