Noemí Weis’ MILK; A Universal Perspective Of Motherhood, Birth & Infant Feeding

Every year, the global community sets aside a week to draw attention to the vital importance of breastfeeding, not only in the lives of the most disadvantaged children but also in the strength of societies. ”We know that breastfeeding helps children to survive and thrive — enabling infants to withstand infections, providing critical nutrients for the early development of their brains and bodies, and strengthening the bond between mothers and their babies. And the benefits of breastfeeding last a lifetime”- Mr. Anthony Lake, UNICEF Executive Director and Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO Director General

 As part of this year’s World Breastfeeding Week celebration, the UNICEF office in New York organized a screening of the film MILK by Noemí Weis, an accomplished Canadian filmmaker guided by a keen sense for compelling storytelling, integrity, and a fearless passion to tackle important human rights issues in an intimate, emotional and humane way. Her past films continue to gain recognition, awards and distinctions but more importantly they make a difference by promoting awareness and giving a voice to the voiceless. Milk’s World Premiere at Hot Docs 2015 and has been officially selected to the Madrid International Film Festival with TWO nominations- Best Director and Best Editor. 

With Milk, Noemí brings a universal perspective on the politics, commercialization and controversies surrounding birth and infant feeding. From the presence of milk donations in emergency situations, to the challenges of establishing milk banks after the closures faced in the 80’s due to the HIV outbreak, to new mothers battling to get the appropriate medical support, to the judgment placed on women who bottle feed their babies, to the stigma surrounding mothers who breast-feed their toddlers, and to the controversy of breastfeeding in public, this polarized topic surrounding birth and infant feeding sets off an emotional and personal debate. In a highly eroticized culture it is hard for some to remember that breasts have uses beyond selling cars, beer, and, well, sex.

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“Having worked on a variety of social issues and human rights films for many years, this time, I decided to go back to roots of Mother Nature and explore what happens when we receive a new life into this world’ – says Noemí.

In a seamless narrative, Milk follows stories of mothers from different cultures on a world journey spanning 11 countries, as it reveals the universal issues and challenges facing motherhood and birth today. “As I talked to mothers from different countries, I realized that the problems and challenges they faced were similar, no matter what country, what culture or what language they spoke. They were all talking about the same issues, united by a strong feeling of motherhood that clearly had no borders”.

Milk celebrates life in all its glory as it follows the passage from labor to birth in an indigenous community in Brazil and end with a celebration on the other side of the world as the Maasai women in Kenya bless a new life. This is juxtaposed with the compelling, personal and political stories at task.

The film also offers reflection and ignites conversation. “I am hoping that by uniting women from around the world in the universal topics of motherhood, birth and life, together, we will create the much needed change to offer new lives, bright and healthy futures”. –replies Noemí. 

The great goal is to make the film reach all corners and generate dialogue around this important topic. Therefore, the MILK team has teamed up with Theatrical On Demand® distributor Gathr Films to provide people with the opportunity to host a screening of MILK in a local theater at absolutely no cost. Anyone interested simply requests the screening and Gathr coordinates the logistics with the theater. No need to worry about any screening room rental or exhibition fee – all is needed is promote the film and get people to reserve tickets. By hosting a screening in their communities, anyone can get involved in the conversation and in the promotion of a better development of our children and the wellbeing of mothers around the world.

For those who prefer to host a private screening in their own facility, the MILK team can service this in the USA and around the world.

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Trailer MILK


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