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Hero image for Birth with Dr. R.D. Laing

Birth with Dr. R.D. Laing

Television (Full Length) – 1977

Framed by the distinctive burr of influential Scottish thinker RD Laing, this 1977 doco questions how the Western medical system handles childbirth: in Laing's view, "one of the disaster areas of our culture." Supported by arresting hospital footage and impassioned interviews with mothers, the film argues that women are often deliberately sidelined during the process of birth, and babies' needs ignored. Screenings in the UK and US saw it contributing to a debate about newborn care; one that remains ongoing. Birth won a Feltex award for best documentary.

A newborn baby isn’t a lump of stuff that hasn’t yet started to feel, or that will perhaps start to feel three of four months after birth ... a newborn baby is a fully-sensured [sic] baby with all its sense channels open.
– RD Laing

Key Cast & Crew

Profile image for Sam Pillsbury

Sam Pillsbury

Director

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Jackie Scott

Editor

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R.D. Laing

Subject

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Helen Brew

Interviewer, Producer

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Pat Cox

Editor

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Don Reynolds

Sound

Produced by

Media Insights

Acknowledgements

Produced with assistance of the National Film Unit. Commissioned by the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation.

Music

Music created by June Schneider.

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