Every 28 Days: The longing for motherhood
by Jesús Silva
- The first feature-length documentary by German filmmaker Ina Borrmann takes us on a personal journey into a woman’s unfulfilled desire for motherhood
Premiered in the Panorama section of the 28th International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), which unspools until 29 November, Every 28 Days [+see also:
film profile] is undoubtedly one of the boldest titles screened at the gathering this year. The first feature-length documentary by German director Ina Borrmann hinges on her personal experience of trying to become a mother in her late thirties. With nothing but a fairly unstable handheld camera, and the invaluable help of her partner and co-producer, Marc Waechter, Borrmann makes a radically intimate decision in order to document something that is so important for her, not only as a filmmaker, but primarily as a woman.
Born in the former German Democratic Republic and raised by her parents “as an emancipated, independent woman” who was able to “escape the pressure to give birth”, Borrmann decided from an early age that she did not want to tie her existence to anyone else. She moved from Freiberg to Munich, where she enrolled in the University of Television and Film, found several jobs, and eventually headed to Berlin with her current partner. At that point, everything changed. She found herself in a stable and happy relationship, and her younger sister gave birth to her little niece. Suddenly, she felt the wish for a family and children of her own, and started trying to get pregnant. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out, and so she decided to go to a fertility clinic and explore further options beyond traditional conception.
This is the starting point for Ina’s personal odyssey, which she managed to record while experiencing all of the excitement and distress, the result of many unsuccessful attempts to fulfil her ultimate wish. The movie adopts a fascinating approach, which is even surreal at some points – as Marc himself expresses – where the filmmaker is the protagonist of a deeply intimate story, undressing both physically and metaphorically in front of the lens. Exploring every aspect involved in the process (from the scientific to the economic, and of course the emotional), the documentary offers a rather bleak experience that is sustained by a generous helping of black humour and the tireless efforts of the couple in the limelight.
Every 28 Days was produced by Avanti Media Film- und Fernsehproduktion in co-production with Shoot from the Hip Filmproduktion, RBB and MDR, in collaboration with ARTE. Deckert Distribution takes care of the international sales.