Having been involved for many years in a variety of social issues and human rights films, I wanted this time to reach back to the roots of Mother Nature and explore what happens when we receive a new life into this world.
Few topics like one of the most basic functions of birthing and infant feeding polarizes people, governments and communities setting off an emotional and personal debate.
As a documentary filmmaker, I ventured into this topic with an open mind. I questioned why women need to justify themselves to almost everyone once they become a mother. From cultural influences to family opinion to just about everybody they meet, they all have an opinion on how she should give birth or feed her baby.
I decided then to offer a platform to all those voices striving to present a balanced view. Milk shows mothers that breastfeed and mothers who have decided to bottle feed their babies. What's important is to support the mother in whatever her choice is as she knows what is best for her and her baby. The problem arises when that mother is not informed or she is not properly supported or when her decision is judged by society at large.
The more I heard women's stories, the stronger was my conviction that their voices needed to be heard. I was compelled to hear that advocates from around the world, who have been working on protecting women for decades, were still battling on communicating truths on issues surrounding malnutrition and infant mortality. Even more surprisingly, was to learn how little awareness there is about the presence of packaged infant food in emergency and disaster areas around the globe.
As I talked to mothers from different countries, I realized that the problems and challenges they faced were similar, no matter what country, what culture or what language they spoke. They were all talking about the same issues, united by a strong feeling of motherhood that clearly had no borders.
And, at the root, is the question that perhaps is still unanswered: When will women own their own bodies? It seems to me that science, in the name of science, has cut the wings to the natural process and that now we have to scientifically prove that natural things are valid when it comes to birth and infant feeding. This seems to be a very big contradiction, but unfortunately a reality.
This is one of the reasons I decided to spend time in an indigineous community and see how they still receive a new life. Women's bodies have not changed, why is it then that there is a whole industry that awaits this baby before he is even born?
My objective in creating and producing a film of this nature has been to bring the voices of the women themselves, these are their stories and their struggles. Milk offers a platform for awareness and conversation to hopefully provoke the needed changes.
No mother should feel discouraged or put down because of the personal decision she has made. And that baby deserves the best treatment, the best nutrition and the best peaceful welcome. This new baby will be a better and healthier citizen.
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