Born in the U.S.A.

The birthing industry in America explores shifting beliefs about women, technology, and the perceived ability to control natural events.

Independent Lens
Premiere Date
October 1, 2000
60 minutes
Funding Initiative
Open Call
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2000 Berkeley Video and Film Festival- Grand Festival Award for Best Investigative Documentary
  • Producer

    Marcia Jarmel

    In addition to her PatchWorks' work, Marcia was consulting producer on HBO’s Emmy-nominated 50 Children," consultant to Academy Award nominee Last Day of Freedom," and IFP Mentor to The Last Season. Other credits include co-editing the Academy-award nominee,For Better or For Worse, and assistant producing the Academy Award nominees, Berkeley in the Sixties Show more and Freedom on My Mind. She also field produces and consults on impact for documentary films. Show less


    Ken Schneider

    Ken Schneider is a Peabody award winner who believes in the power of film to affect hearts and minds. For 25 years, Ken has produced, directed and edited documentaries, focusing on war and peace, human rights, artists’ lives, unearthing buried American history, and contemporary social issues. Ken co-edited the Oscar-nominated Regret To Inform, a film Show more the New York Times described as “unforgettable … exquisitely filmed, edited and scored.” His films have appeared on PBS’ American Masters, POV, Independent Lens, Frontline, Voices, on HBO, Showtime, Al-Jazeera, and in television and film festivals worldwide. He edits in English and Spanish. Show less

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    The Film

    Three out of every four Americans becomes a parent, yet most of us have never really considered what having a “normal” birth means. How much technology is appropriate for most women? Is the full range of safe options available, and to whom? How do we decide what is best for us? Born in the U.S.A. explores the landscape of current maternity care through the eyes of three caregivers: an obstetrician working at a teaching hospital, a licensed midwife attending home births, and a certified nurse-midwife bridging both worlds in an urban, out-of-hospital birth center. This provocative film raises questions about technology, safety, quality of care, and current childbirth practices in America.