Born at Home (2000. Directed by Sameera Jain)

This film observes indigenous birth practices and practitioners in parts of India — rural Rajasthan, Bihar, and an urban working class area of Delhi. The figure of the dai (midwife) – almost always a low-caste, poor woman – is central to the film. Dais handle about 50% of the births in India yet their inherited, accessible, and low-cost skills are continually devalued by the mainstream. Why does the state not recognise the almost one million traditional practitioners in the country?

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GTC Medical Anthropology Film and Discussion Group - Film Programme Michaelmas 2022


3.30-5pm, Tuesdays (Weeks 2, 4, 6 and 8)

Convened by Paola Esposito (

The GTC Medical Anthropology Film & Discussion Group explores the extent to which film can complement, enrich and further the study of medical anthropology themes, topics and methods. After watching selected clips, we discuss a film’s content and approach, and interrogate its capacity to support the analysis of issues relating to illness, crisis, health and wellbeing.

This term we focus on the theme of ‘birthing’.