FilmRise Announces The Acquisition Of “Motherland,” The World Cinema Special Jury Award-Winner At Sundance


June 1, 2017 — Variety has announced that FilmRise has acquired the exclusive North American distribution rights to Ramona S. Diaz’s documentary Motherland.

The setting for the film is the Dr. Fabella Memorial Hospital in Manilla, one of the largest and busiest maternity hospitals in the Philippines. The country, which has one of the highest birth rates in the world, has just announced the arrival of the 100 millionth Fillipino.

The audience connects with three women who must navigate their way through the impersonal maternity hospital which has no incubators and instructs them when it is time to leave over a loudspeaker.

Many of the women have spent their entire adult lives pregnant or recovering from childbirth; most refuse any form of birth control other than a hysterectomy.

The film captures the local attitude towards childbirth, pregnancy and, also, how it affects the economy.

The film was given positive reviews at Sundance, where it premiered. Dennis Harvey stated, “In highly developed nations, the birth process is usually one dominated by medical science — perhaps overly so — with the mother in virtual quarantine conditions. But there’s something to be said for a more communal approach, like the one colorfully portrayed in ‘Motherland.’ U.S. documentarian Ramona S. Diaz’s latest is a lively and engaging glimpse at a Manila maternity ward where overcrowding and limited technological resources have forced some solutions that may not be ideal, but are admirable nonetheless.”

Motherland
, which won the world cinema documentary special jury award for commanding vision at Sundance, will receive a theatrical release this summer; it will also be available to stream later this year, exclusively on Amazon Prime Video.


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