"Every woman who wants to have children should have them. The question is because a woman who does not want to have them, should have them. " This is the question that the Chilean writer Lina Meruane has been asking all her life –author of the book Against the children– and that the film directors Inés Peris and Laura García have wanted to capture in their documentary Motherhood. The medium-length film, which has been presented at the Valencian film festival The cabin, opens the debate on social stigmatization towards women who have decided not to be mothers. Reflections on maternal instinct, repentance or feminine identity orchestrate the film through the voice of women who have experienced pressure and social taboos in their own skins.
"We have not reflected enough either individually or as a society on why we have children," says Inés Peris, co-director of Motherhood. At the age of 35, she began to be devastated by doubts the decision of whether or not to be a mother, and the fear of repentance. It was then that he came to the conclusion that he had not asked himself the right questions. "I was afraid of making mistakes and, reflecting, I realized that I was a victim of social pressure." His research on the subject led hundreds of women who also asked the same questions and who had stopped to reflect on the same issues. It was then that she decided to carry out a project that would shape the internal struggle that these women are living. "Many women have decided to talk about their repentance of being mothers and have received death threats and harassment in the networks. That's why our documentary is necessary ".
"They think that female identity is not complete if you do not have a child. They believe that in the feminine nature that component is mandatory. There is a symbolic violence towards women They do not want to beget and they are seen as denatured, "explains Laura García, co-director of the documentary. Both directors have been friends for seven years, when they agreed to work on the now defunct Channel 9. "She told me how she felt about her decision not to want to be a mother and because of the pressure she was suffering. We embarked on this project together to translate in a documentary what happens to so many other women in the world. "
"It has been a work of great dedication and investigation", declares Peris. "We contacted philosophers, doctors in law and psychologists. We wanted to have a wide range of profiles and they all accepted enthusiastically, "he says. A curious fact to which the director makes mention was the surprise when seeing that all the people who had been worried in investigating and investigating on the subject were women and for that reason all the presence in the documentary is feminine. "It may seem like a coincidence but it reflects very well the fact that men are not interested in this topic."
The documentary has the voice of experts from around the world who contribute their reflections from experience: "the notion of maternal instinct is the greatest deception of humanity. If you do not have children, you are not a real woman? "French feminist philosopher Elisabeth Badinter is questioned in the film. "We have decided that the word woman means mother and that woman who does not want to be has to give many explanations and also to feel sooner or later that it does not have its place in society, "reflects the professor of semiotics Cande Sánchez-Olmos on the meaning of the concept of mother and the non-mother concept in class with her students. The Israeli sociologist Orna Donat, author of the book that has provoked much controversy, Regretful mothers, criticizes the social ignorance: "they have told us that we are going to have a miserable life if we do not have children and this generates a lot of fear in young women".
Motherhood it has become a global project that also has a transmedia platform. "After investigating the issue and deciding what we wanted to tell in the film we realized that there were many nuances that could not be developed as widely as we would have liked", say the directors. For this reason they have decided to create a great transmedia platform where you can find narrated material in the voice of experts from around the world and writers on the subject. The platform incorporates a videogame –[m]other Earth–, which allows users to learn more about the problems that overpopulation and associated consumption generate for the planet, or the webcomic Eve, which poses situations related to the fact of being or not being a mother from the point of view of humor.