In Utero documentary filmmakers, Kathleen and Stephen Gyllenhaal, discuss the film's breakthrough year at film festivals resulting in its translation into ten languages and multiple awards, including the San Diego International Film Festival's Breakthrough Documentary Award in October 2016.
The documentary is set to be released for on-demand viewing on October 11, 2016. In anticipation of the on-demand release, Kathleen and Stephen speak to some of the hardest questions they have faced from international audiences, including: Why is the film so dark? Should pregnant mother see it? Is it a pro-life film?
The filmmakers share the need to present the solid and multiple fields of science that all arrive at the same conclusion during the course of the film: womb ecology becomes world ecology.
About the film:
Through enlightening and oftentimes poignant interviews with experts and pioneers, IN UTERO paints a complex tapestry of the human experience from conception to birth. Tapping into cultural myths, popular movies, and technological trends, the film demonstrates how our experiences in utero preoccupy us throughout our lives.
Experts in the fast-growing field of epigenetics explain that we are not only our genes but a product of our environment as well, a proven fact that changes our perception of stress and exposures to the environment during pregnancy. The film looks at how these environmental effects are passed down through the generations through our genes, making it scientifically plausible that a traumatic event that affected your grandma could leave a mark on your genes.
Visit the In Utero website to find more resources, including screenings, of the film at www.inuterofilm.com.
A transcript of this interview will be posted on www.KindredMedia.org on October 11, 2016.
Discover more about birth psychology at the Association for Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health at www.birthpsychology.com.
Quotes from the film:
“This is something that we’re just beginning to explore gene by gene. It’s not what genes you’re carrying, it’s what gets expressed. It’s fantastic. Because the idea of epigenetic change—based on exposure to the environment at different intervals—really provides the body with a way of continuously adapting to the environment. Bad environmental events cause change. Good environmental events cause change. And what you’ve got to do is just make sure that you have enough of the good events.” – Rachel Yehuda, Ph.D.
“What we see in infants exposed to stress in utero is we see reduced brain volume, reduced grey matter density…So if you are less dense in those regions, that suggests that there are less processors available. We also see reductions in hippocampal volume, and increase in amygdala volume. Disruption in those areas, disruption in structure or function of the amygdala is associated with higher risk for emotional psychopathology or neuropsychiatric illness.” – Moriah Thomason, Ph.D.
“What we’re not recognizing is that people are parenting and conceiving and carrying and birthing children under increasingly stressed conditions. Increasingly, it takes two people now to provide a living in this culture to families. And they’re doing so in the context of less support because one of the ravages of industrialization and globalization is the destruction of the
extended family, the tribe, the clan, the village, the neighborhood. Parents who are stressed have been shown not to be able to be as attuned with their infants and children as parents who are not stressed. Not their fault. Not because they do not love the child. Not because they’re not dedicated, devoted, committed. Simply because the stress effect impedes their ability to attune with their child…And that has an impact on brain development.” – Gabor Maté, M.D.