We Are All Mothers
A film from Perception and the Tibetan Video Archive Project
(now Global Diversity Film Project)
Created by Debra Denker and Rainbow Lotus Productions
(now Catalyst Artistic Productions)
Running Time 23:36 min.
Screened at the Santa Fe Film Festival in December, 2007
According to Tibetan Buddhism, all sentient beings have been each other’s mothers at some time on the endless wheel of karma and reincarnation. Thus we must have compassion, and treat every single being as our own mother, and our own child.
We Are All Mothers, released in August, 2007, is the story of an intrepid group of health care professionals, holistic healers, and Buddhist students who braved many obstacles to journey to a remote high-altitude area of Kham, eastern Tibet. At the invitation of His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche, who was concerned about extremely high rates of maternal and infant mortality in his home village, Gargon, the team of nine American women ran a daily clinic, conducted midwifery training, and interviewed villagers about their concerns and hopes. The multi-talented team included nurses, midwife trainers, acupuncturists, holistic healers, and a medical anthropologist.
This visually rich film documents their work with reverence, affection, and humor. Watch Tibetan women---some semi-nomadic yak-herders and others educated young schoolteachers---as they learn how to be skilled birth attendants in a region where, by cultural tradition, women have given birth out on the grasslands, sometimes cutting the umbilical cord with a stone. See how an alternate future is being created as the women of Gargon become empowered through knowledge of safe birthing practices.