AWARDS: Peabody Award; chosen for PBS’s national testimonial campaign “Be More,” Melbourne Int’l Film Festival, Best Documentary, IDA Best Documentary Nomination, Official Sundance selection
A Healthy Baby Girl is an inter-generational story of one family’s response to an ethical and technological crisis, experienced from their home in Merrick, Long Island. Intimate and humorous, it’s also a searing exploration of what happens when science, marketing, and corporate power enter our deepest family relationships. In 1963, filmmaker Judith Helfand’s mother was prescribed the drug diethylstilbestrol (DES), meant to prevent miscarriage and ensure a healthy baby. But technology is rarely a benign midwife. In 1990, at age twenty-five, Helfand was diagnosed with DES-related cervical cancer. She went home to her family to heal from a radical hysterectomy. There she picked up her camera. Her video diary, A Healthy Baby Girl, was shot over five years and goes beyond loss to document mother-daughter love, family renewal, survival, political awakening, and community activism.