One woman’s attempt to heal from childhood sexual abuse evolves into a family’s journey of discovery, loss, and bonding—at once agonizing and beautiful.
The arrest of three homebirth midwives serving Amish and Mennonite communities in rural upstate New York ignites a legislative fight for freedom of choice in birthing rights.
Director/Producer Elaine Epstein is a director/producer whose work has on HBO, PBS, MTV, and Discovery. Elaine’s film State of Denial, examining the HIV/AIDS crisis in South Africa, premiered at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival and aired on the PBS award-winning series, POV. State of Denial was nominated for an Emmy Award and won the Special Jury Award at… Show more
the Hot Docs Festival.
In 2008, Elaine founded Underdog Films, a creative studio specializing in documentary, branded content, and social media campaigns. Since then, Elaine has developed award-winning content for multiple brands and non-profits including Amazon, Facebook, AT&T, Lincoln Motor Car Company, The Einstein College of Medicine, The James Beard Foundation, and many more. After years of honing her craft on short-form content, Elaine marked her return to documentaries in 2018 as the Director of Photography on the documentary film Nothing Without Us: The Women Who Will End AIDS. Show less
The arrest of three homebirth midwives serving Amish and Mennonite communities in rural upstate New York ignited a legislative fight for freedom of choice in birthing rights. When a Mennonite baby died after being attended to by a homebirth midwife, an unprecedented legal drama ensued. The midwife was charged with 95 felony charges, including criminally negligent homicide. Shortly after, two other midwives were arrested and similarly charged.
Fearful of losing the right to homebirth altogether, members of the Amish and Mennonite communities collectively defied their pacifist culture in order to stand up and fight to get their midwives back. Together with the midwives, they became a powerful voice challenging the industrialized medical model of maternity care and New York state’s restrictive midwifery laws. At a time when the United States has the highest maternal mortality rate among developed countries, My Midwife applies the lens of these cases to examine this national health crisis and the ongoing battle between medicine and midwifery, and the rights of women in childbirth.