On Monday evening, DCTV hosted a screening of Motherland just hours before the film’s premiere broadcast on POV, October 16th. Director Ramona S. Diaz and Eliza Licht, the Vice President of Content Strategy and Engagement at POV, joined for a Q&A after the screening in DCTV’s historic firehouse.
The latest of Diaz’s films centering the Philippines, Motherland peeks into the world’s busiest maternity ward at the Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital in Manila. Though cluttered and chaotic, the spirit of Fabella that Diaz captures is one of community and camaraderie. The mothers gather around their beds, swapping stories, advice, and, sometimes for a feeding or two, even children.
During the Q&A, Diaz attributes her decision to film at Fabella to the communal nature of the ward. With four women and several more babies to a bed, Diaz noted, “instant, close, fleeting relationships” were born. When asked to describe a favorite moment in the film, Diaz is quick to point to the “Preacher Nurse,” the hospital staff member who acts as the ward’s personal commentator, using a microphone like a stand-up comic to remind the women to bathe and to keep their belongings tidy.
By the night’s end, audience members all wanted to know the same thing: where were the families now? Read POV’s interview with Diaz to find out what happened after the cameras stopped rolling.