The Business of Being Born
The Business of Being Born
The Business of Being Born
The Business of Being Born

The Business of Being Born

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    • Directed by: Abby Epstein
    • Released: 2022 (educational)
    • Year of Production: 2008
Running Time: 87 min
Language: English
Subtitle Options: English Closed Captions
Subjects: Representations of Women, Reproductive Justice, Women's Health, 
Birth: it's a miracle. A rite of passage. A natural part of life. But more than anything, birth is a business.
Compelled to find answers after a disappointing birth experience with her first child, actress Ricki Lake recruits filmmaker Abby Epstein to explore the maternity care system in America. Focusing on New York City, the film reveals that there is much to distrust behind hospital doors and follows several couples who decide to give birth on their own terms. There is an unexpected turn when director Epstein not only discovers she is pregnant, but finds the life of her child on the line. Should birth be viewed as a natural life process, or should every delivery be treated as a potential medical emergency?
Official Selection at Tribeca Film Festival 2008

“The Business of Being Born” is a passionate ground-level examination of home childbirth, anchored in a scene in which its executive producer, Ricki Lake, the actress and former talk-show host, gives birth to her second child in a bathtub. ” – The New York Times


About the filmmaker 
Abby Epstein started her career as a theater director having her own Chicago-based production company, Roadworks Productions, which was founded in 1992. After directing a few productions in Chicago, Epstein moved to New York to be an assistant director on the production of “Rent.” She then worked on “The Vagina Monologues” with Eve Ensler and directed her first film, 2003’s “Until the Violence Stops,” a documentary about the impact of “The Vagina Monologues” on a global scale. Her other film credits include “The Business of Being Born” and “Weed the People.”


Ricki Lake is an actress, television host, and the executive producer of the documentary, The Business of Being Born.


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