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Sunday, October 2, 2011

Little Man by Nicole Conn, 2005

Turning the camera lens on her own life, lesbian filmmaker Nicole Conn ("Elena Undone") captures the heart-wrenching process of having a surrogate child with her life partner, political activist Gwen Baba, only to have the baby be born 100 days too early. Weighing just 1 pound with a heart the size of a cashew, the tiny infant Nicholas fights valiantly for his own survival while his parents fight to keep their commitment alive.

What a movie. Documentary. It is so accurate and precise and intimate. Because of the honesty of the people filmed, it recreates perfectly the context, the questions, the despairs, the behaviors of everyone and each one upon one another. It is a difficult documentary to watch, because it is always at the edge between life and death, between what is ethical and what is not, when it is bearable and when it is not. In a very understanding way, in a very human way, we go through all the steps and complexity of the journey without trying to give a universal judgment on what is right or wrong about it. It makes you believe that while in the journey, it is almost impossible to have a perspective, everything is decided in an emergency, and has to be decided somehow upon instinct, which is usually how things are done, when the matter of life and death is present. And it is well made, well analyzed. I believe that the journey of Gwen is as understandable as the one of Nicole. That is also why I find the documentary so right.


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