An exploration of the devastating toll on poor women as the Philippines struggles with reproductive health policy and the politics of Catholic ideology.

Film Signature Image
Premiere Date
October 16, 2017
90 minutes
Funding Initiative
Open Call
Diversity Development Fund
  • Nominated laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2017 Peabody Awards-George Foster Peabody Award
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2017 Sundance Film Festival-Special Jury Award for Commanding Vision(World Cinema)
  • Nominated laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2018 Independent Spirit Awards-Best Documentary
  • Ramona S. Diaz

    Ramona S Diaz

    Ramona Diaz is an Asian American filmmaker best known for her compelling character-driven documentaries that have demonstrated her ability to gain intimate access to the people she films, resulting in keenly observed moments and nuanced narratives. Ramona’s credits include Spirits Rising (Student Academy Award, Ida Lupino DGA Award, Golden Gate Award from the SFIFF, IDA Certificate of Merit); Show more Imelda (Excellence in Cinematography Award, 2004 Sundance, IDA ABCNews Videosource Award, Independent Lens in 2005); The Learning (IDA Humanitas Award nomination, POV in 2011); Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey (2012 Tribeca Film Fest, closing night of the San Francisco International FF, opening night of 2012 Silverdocs (now AFIDocs); aired on Independent Lens in 2014).

    Diaz has received funding from ITVS, CAAM, MacArthur Foundation, Ford Foundation, Sundance, Tribeca, Catapult Film Fund, and Chicken & Egg. She was awarded a Fellowship by the Bogliasco Foundation in the autumn of 2015 where she was in residence at the Bogliasco Study Center in Italy, and she received a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation for film and video. She is a graduate of Emerson College and holds an M.A. in communication from Stanford University. Show less

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    The Film

    Motherland takes us into the heart of the planet’s busiest maternity hospital in one of the world’s poorest and most populous countries: the Philippines. The film drops viewers unobtrusively into the hospital’s stream of activity, through hallways and into rooms while eavesdropping on conversations, before focusing on three women — Lea, Aira, and Lerma — who emerge to share their stories with other mothers, their families, doctors, and social workers. While each of them faces daunting odds at home, their optimism, honesty and humor suggest a strength that they will have to summon in the years ahead.