Price: $350.00

    Code: 2539

    Directed by Juliet Jordan
    2016, 81 minutes
    Purchase: $350 | Classroom rental: $125
    Optional closed captions

    An intimate observation of the complete process of home birthing - a trend on the rise in many communities, including Jewish communities practicing Orthodoxy - Miriam: Home Delivery follows a charismatic, Brooklyn-based, home birth midwife who has helped mothers giving birth at home for more than two decades, as she’s on call, and provides care to mothers in various stages of their pregnancies.

    Director Juliet Jordan follows Miriam Schwarzschild as she drives from home to home in New York City. Miriam visits her expectant mothers before the deliveries, conducting sonograms and check ups. Each woman presents Miriam with anxieties and questions, to which Miriam responds with the frankness and warmth of a close friend. On the road, Miriam details her start working at a hospital, her first home delivery, and her view of being a midwife today: “Saying you’re a midwife is a political thing … we’ve always been seen as witches.” She treats birthing as a natural event to be experienced, not as a problem to be solved.

    In the midst of Superstorm Sandy, Miriam braves the weather and slippery roads separating Brooklyn from Manhattan to perform a delivery, even after New York State ordered citizens to stay inside. Difficulties continue in the aftermath, as the home of a Jewish mother has been left without heat, creating an unfavorable setting for the delivery.

    Subjects & Collections

    Festivals & Awards

    Official Selection, DOC NYC Film Festival
    Official Selection, Ambulante Film Festival


    "Jordan has shown us through the power of imagery that Midwives play an essential role in the birth world and that their presence and voice is growing in strength. Supporting midwifery is needed even more so today in the climate of rising intervention rates and potentially frightening restrictions on women’s health platforms." -Choices in Childbirth

    "The portrayal of midwifery care and philosophy is beautifully done. The cultural elements of the different families are outstanding. The interaction of midwife and families and the continuous shared decision making, one of the key elements of home birth and midwifery care, are exquisitely portrayed. Not even natural disasters get in the way of a woman's choice to have her baby her way. There are 2 quotes from Miriam that for me are particularly important: 'It is rare that big things go wrong with no warning' and 'It's the rule.' Her constant positive reinforcement of the mom's ability to go through both the pregnancy and the labor and birth are at the heart of midwifery philosophy." - Patricia Burkhardt, Licensed Midwife, Dr PH

    "In this gentle and intriguing film, Juliet Jordan allows Miriam to show us what the life of a midwife is – being with women, there for women, wherever and whoever they are as they bring forth their babies." - Barbara Katz Rothman, Professor of Sociology and Public Health, City University of New York

    "Midwifery is health care in the hands of the women receiving it. No one demonstrates this better than Miriam. Viewing this film is a rare opportunity to witness the art, science and philosophy of this ancient practice unfolding. Wonderful film!" - Susanrachel Condon, Licensed Midwife

    "A thoughtful film bearing witness to women, their partners and their midwife, Miriam, as they navigate their birth experiences. The competency, compassion, tenacity and integrity with which Miriam practiced the art of midwifery impressed me. Miriam makes a very difficult task look easy. This film inspires me to attend to women with the same dedication, intelligence, and patience in my own midwifery practice as does Miriam." - Carol O'Donoghue, Certified Nurse Midwife

    "Miriam brings the essence of midwifery - the long history of women being with women - into 21st century New York City. Quietly supportive, acknowledging individual needs and concerns of women and families - midwifery as it was meant to be." - Ellen Chuse, Certified Childbirth Educator and Birth Counselor, Past President Childbirth Education Association of Metropolitan New York

    "This film offers the delightful gift of witnessing a midwife in both the ordinary and extraordinary moments that make up her life's work, and offers an oxytocin high for anyone who savors the beauty of birth." - Elizabeth Varaso, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator | DONA Certified Birth Doula

    "Intimately captures an array of open-minded and strong women regaining ownership over the childbirth experience in its most natural setting." - Tablet


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