Japanese film on childbirth competes for top award in Spain

22nd September 2010, Comments 0 comments

Award-winning Japanese director Naomi Kawase pays tribute to a doctor famed for his natural childbirth methods, in a new documentary presented Wednesday at the San Sebastian film festival.

Over one year, Kawase followed women in the last months of their pregnancies who were planning to give birth at the clinic of obstetrician Dr Tadashi Yoshimura, 78.

The resulting film, "Genpin", is in competition for the festival's top Golden Shell award.

"I only wanted to show that there are other ways of giving birth" and that "giving life is not necessarily a synonym for suffering, it is also a pleasure," said Kawase.

Yoshimura, who has attended some 20,000 natural births at his clinic over 40 years, is "unique in Japan", where only "two percent of doctors" respect the preferences of the women who are about to give birth, she said.

"And among those two percent, there is no doctor like him."

Kawase, who won the Special Jury Prize at Cannes in 2007 for her film "The Mourning Forest," about a nurse grieving for her dead child, said "Genpin" is not just a "film for women" and hoped that "men will also learn something."

© 2010 AFP

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