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All Critics (12)
| Top Critics (6)
| Fresh (9)
| Rotten (3)
Breastmilk takes all of its testimonials at their dry word, leaving one to marvel at how much theoretical distance can come even between a baby and its mother.
Audiences will find themselves face to face with their own prejudices, assumptions and, perhaps, squeamishness.
Dana Ben-Ari's gently affecting and insightful documentary achieves a remarkable intimacy with its subjects.
Images of newborns fumbling to feed bear witness to its importance. But the film's myopic style limits its impact.
Variously confronting sexual and financial worries, lack of maternity leave and performance anxiety, the women transform a seemingly simple act of mothering into a complex diary of daily challenges.
Ben-Ari elegantly conveys the crippling social pressures that arise when a woman suggests that she might be allowed agency over her own body and that of her child, without adding any words of her own.
Breastmilk proves to be an eye-opening and educational experience, illustrating the complexity around a seemingly simple choice of feeding babies mother's milk in modern America.
Is breastfeeding bond or bondage? As the documentary Breastmilk examines, the pendulum swings every generation and there is no clear, correct answer.
The film is made for a very specific audience, but the underlying issue is universal.
An empowering reminder of a woman's body's remarkable ability to provide sustenance in abundance.
At first glance, breast milk might seem like a subject that isn't nearly rich, complex, or just plain interesting enough to merit a feature-length documentary. That assumption holds up on second glance, and throughout all subsequent glances.
...Breastmilk is a clever documentary based on a handful of interviews with new moms (and dads)
The subject of breast feeding in our culture needed an in-depth yet impartial view, but instead of that director Dana Ben-Ari only shows the views of several new mothers. The main narrative of the film is that "breast is best" and all children need to breastfed, but the film doesn't tell us why. It's true that there are advantages to breast feeding, including a lesser chance of ovarian and breast cancer in women, and a lower chance of obesity in children. It's also true that only 16.4% of new mothers breastfeed their children for the recommended first six months. The documentary does not give any of this information throughout, and instead lets naive first time mothers pander to the camera about how easy they think it's going to be, and that they have no sympathy for women who don't breastfeed. There's even a lesbian couple who purport that they don't accept women who say they have low milk production, and they should still try anyway. By the end, none of these women have accomplished their overall goal. If the film serves to show the strength in breastfeeding and its good influence on children's health, it should have been more forthright with that message. There are some interviews with specialists, which are insightful, but they do nothing to link to the overall narrative. This film is jumbled and confused in what it's trying to say. Also, who is its audience: new mothers, pregnant women, breast milk detractors, misogynists? It's unclear throughout just who this is for, or what it's trying to say, making it not just insulting to women and adoptive parents who can't give their children breast milk, but to its audience as well.
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