Friday, 28 May 2010
Pam Lazenby "Mother of Many" (2009)
Pam Lazenby was a midwife from 1980 to 2008. Her daughter Emma Lazenby won the the Short Animation prize at this year’s BAFTA here in the UK for Mother of Many, a film that chronicles a midwife’s day in a fashion that is remarkable for its lack of hyperbole even though the deeds depicted are heroic for most of us. The young woman goes about her business with a saintly dedication, carrying out routine procedures, monitoring heartbeat, calming mother and father, dealing with the actual birth. Emma’s style is one of simplified illustrations illuminated in a clean bright light as befits a hospital location. She also uses textures in her work, notably the midwife’s blue gown, festooned in medical terms. The film is mostly literal though, almost as a medical textbook, we see the rapidly developing baby inside the womb. The birth itself has a documentary quality to it that would both educate and entice much needed recruits into the profession. It also has a straight-forward freshness and honesty. Mother of Many was also shortlisted for the 6th NFB Online Short Film Contest the winner of which was announced in Cannes last week – a film I shall review shortly. Sadly, since I wrote the review the film has been taken down and the link is to a 40 second YouTube clip.