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Father’s Birth
Naître Père
France | 2012 | 80 min | HD projection |
In French, English with English subtitles

documentary | section: Wisconsin’s Own, New International Documentaries
Midwest Premiere

directed by: Delphine Lanson
cinematography: Delphine Lanson
producer: Carole Lambert and Carine Ruszniewski
music: Franck Williams
editor: Anne Klotz
Delphine Lanson’s film provides a clear-eyed and moving look at how modern families are formed. Parisians Jérôme and François have been together for thirteen years and want to have children via surrogacy (a process barred in France). They reach out to Colleen, a wife and mother of three residing in Waukesha, WI, who agrees to be the couple’s surrogate and soon becomes pregnant with twins. Thus begins a year-long journey that not only brings two new lives into the world, but brings together two familial units across geographic, linguistic, and cultural barriers. Lanson eschews manufactured melodrama or easy lost-in-translation laughs, filling her film with small moments of quiet humor and pathos: Jérôme and François making their first parental purchasing decisions in a massive big-box store; Colleen matter-of-factly explaining her surrogacy role in terms of her own initial difficulties having children. Lanson’s observational camera acknowledges the complicated emotional cross-currents of Jérôme, François, and Colleen’s arrangement while ultimately celebrating its richness and camaraderie. As the legal rights of same-sex couples remain evermore politicized and divisive, Father’s Birth offers a touching snapshot of two families at once distinct and not so different, after all.
Director Delphine Lanson scheduled to attend.

- Matthew Connolly
 
Wisconsin Film Festival
presented by the University of Wisconsin–Madison Arts Institute in association with the Communication Arts Film Studies Program
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