A baby in the Philippines is seen in a still from the documentary Milk. Image: Filmblanc
An education program focused on emergency preparedness and infant nutrition is coming to Yellowknife.
The Yellowknife Public Library is hosting a screening of the 2015 documentary Milk on Saturday. The film is described as bringing “a universal perspective on the politics, commercialization and controversies surrounding birth and infant feeding.”
“My interest was to find out what was happening at the beginning of life and how we were receiving these new babies into the world,” writer and director Noemi Weis said of making the documentary.
“That took me into this journey of, at first, infant feeding, and then I realized that I couldn’t speak about infant feeding without talking about birth.
“Doing research for over three years, I realized the problems I was hearing from different continents and different countries with different backgrounds, cultural or socio-economic – there was no difference. That mother wants the best for that baby.”
Milk explores the politicization of breastfeeding and motherhood as well as the marketing of infant formula. The film also looks at the impact of emergencies, such as the aftermath of the 2013 Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.
“Unfortunately, the world is in an emergency and climate change has been a big part of it,” Weis said, highlighting this summer’s displacement of people across Canada and the NWT.
“Very seldom do you hear in the media – or anywhere, really – anyone talking about moms and babies, what happens to them.”
Organizers of Saturday’s screening in Yellowknife include the Midwives Association of the Northwest Territories and the Northwest Territories Association of Naturopathic Doctors. It’s among events being held across Canada as part of the Milk Educational Program.
The screening will be followed by a public workshop from SafelyFed Canada – a non-profit focused on improving emergency preparedness and food security for babies, young children and their families – then a workshop for professionals.
Weis said the event will be an opportunity for residents to “reflect, to think about what happened in other countries” as well as in Yellowknife, and “what they can learn as a community to do better in the future, and also heal.”
The screening and workshops take place on November 18 from 11:30am to 3:30pm.