OFFICIAL SELECTION - Woodstock Film Festival | OFFICIAL SELECTION - BendFilm FestivalPronatalism • Motherhood • Media Criticism • Population and Climate Change • Reproductive Justice • Abortion and Contraception • Nuclear Family • Gynecology • Alternative Families • Baby Boom • Fertility Rate • Infertility • Baby Bust • Eugenics • Sterilization • Black Families • Maternal Regret • Slavery
Date of Completion: 2021 | Run Time: 77 minutes | Language: English | Captions: Yes | Includes: Transcript & Study Guide | Director: Therese Shechter | Producer: Therese Shechter
MY SO-CALLED SELFISH LIFE is a paradigm-shifting documentary from award-winning filmmaker Therese Shechter that examines one of our greatest social taboos: choosing to be childfree. This funny, thought-provoking, and sometimes sobering film shines light on a society that believes all women want children — that giving birth is not only a biological imperative but the defining measure of womanhood.
Titled after one of the myths it challenges, MY SO-CALLED SELFISH LIFE draws on a heady mix of culture, science, and history–revealing the rich and diverse lives of people who said no to children, and the forces that have marginalized them in society. We follow Therese as she pulls back the curtain on pronatalism, the promotion of baby-making for cultural, economic, and political purposes. The film takes an irreverent approach to explore an array of timely issues rarely examined through this prism: the ongoing erosion of reproductive services; the racial undertones of panic around reduced birth rates; and concern over having children during the climate change crisis. At its heart, the film doesn’t seek to denigrate motherhood but rather spotlight the unexamined forces that inextricably link women’s identity to motherhood. Posing timely questions about cultural narratives that shape our identities, the film has sparked a movement that asks: who’s really in control of women’s bodies and lives?