In the consulting rooms of a public hospital in Argentina, social workers dialogue with pregnant young girls, women who has just given birth or other ones that are hospitalized due to unsafe abortions. Coming from the environment of extreme poverty and vulnerability, many of them are victims of gender violence. Hence, their pregnancies make it even more difficult to imagine a hopeful present or future. The film reflects the desires, tensions and fears around forced maternity and clandestine abortion.
A word from Tënk
In Argentina, every three hours a girl under the age of 15 is forced to give birth. While activists work toward the legalization of safe and free abortion, many young women, often victims of poverty and systemic gender violence, must carry their unwanted pregnancies to term. Shot in the intimacy of a public hospital’s consulting rooms, Andrea Testa’s fly-on-the-wall documentary reveals a few of the stories hidden behind the statistics. Finding the right distance from the teenagers’ faces, which she films in sober black and white, the director observes their interactions with the social workers who try to help them navigate complicated family situations, abusive relationships and the overwhelming realities of young motherhood. Caring and non-judgmental, the staff, who can be heard but not seen, encourage them to imagine a hopeful future despite the fragility of their dreams.
Programmer and critic