Jump directly to the page contents

For further information please download the film sheet (PDF).

One of Manila’s public hospitals houses the largest maternity ward in the world. It’s a lifeline for expectant mothers just managing to scrape by on the fringes of society, with as many as 100 babies being born here every day. Motherland follows three protagonists over the course of their stay amidst hundreds of other women.
Following the cinéma vérité tradition, director Ramona S. Diaz eschews interviews of any kind, observing instead what goes on in this place: overfilled hallways and shared beds to deal with the flood of births, information conveyed through loudspeakers, visiting times as a huge logistical challenge. A baby is lost and then reappears, deliveries are captured almost incidentally and in between social workers tout the advantages of family planning. Motherland is more than a portrait of an institution though, delivering equally multi-layered insights into Philippine society, which is marked by a deep-rooted Catholicism, the powerlessness of the poor and an explosion in the birth rate. And yet all these issues are swathed in humour and human warmth. Mothers give birth to life, and life gives birth to stories. One has seldom been so close to both at once. (Ansgar Vogt)

Production: CineDiaz, Baltimore
Screenplay: Ramona S. Diaz
Camera: Nadia Hallgren, Clarissa De Los Reyes
Running time: 94 min
Language: Filipino

Photo: © CineDiaz

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media
  • Logo des Programms NeuStart Kultur