Boston Premiere of Brazilian Documentary, Women of Earth, Shows Power of Indigenous Midwives

BOSTON--()--In December, the feature documentary Women of Earth held its premiere at the historic Coolidge Theatre in Boston for an audience of 150 advocates, community leaders, students, and educators.

The film follows a young Brazilian woman with a dream of becoming a midwife who journeys through indigenous villages and rural communities in search of traditional midwives and the wisdom that they share ( The film is directed by three Brazilian women: Mayara Boaretto (who has since been trained as a midwife), Isadora Carneiro, and Oscar-nominated director Kátia Lund.

After the film screening, Judy Norsigian, co-founder of Our Bodies Ourselves (, moderated a thought provoking panel with Alexandra Spadola, MD, Director of Labor and Delivery at Tufts Medical Center; Gene Declercq, Professor at Boston University School of Public Health; Nashira Baril, MPH, Neighborhood Birth Center Project Lead; and Marylou Carr, CNM, Mt. Auburn Midwifery Associates and Cambridge Health Alliance.

The film’s director, Isadora Carneiro, flew in from Brazil for the event and spoke about the significance of premiering in Boston:

“I made the first cut of our movie in Boston at Bunker Hill College in 2013,” she said. “When I heard the news that the premiere would be in Boston, I found it significant. Not only does the film show the power of these indigenous women, but it also increases understanding of what social care, hospital care, childbirth, pre-birth and postpartum care look like in our society. It was wonderful to have the brilliant Judy Norsigian and the panelists talk about these important topics.”

The panelists discussed barriers in Brazil and elsewhere for many women who want to have natural childbirth. Marylou Carr, CNM, Mt. Auburn Midwifery Associates and Cambridge Health Alliance, pointed to a recent survey that showed that many Brazilian women want to have vaginal births but are discouraged from doing so, especially by doctors in private hospitals.

Judy Norsigian, co-founder of Our Bodies Ourselves, declared, “A movement to change this has begun and this film will be part of that effort.”

For 2020, the film is planning a 10-city screening tour across North America, as well as community screenings in Brazil, to raise awareness about and support for the important role of midwives in improving healthcare for families.

Global activist and supermodel Gisele Bündchen has been a generous supporter since the conception of this initiative. She writes, “Women of Earth beautifully reveals the priceless wisdom that has been preserved by midwives in Brazil for years. I was moved by the strength of the women depicted and feel grateful to have contributed to the project. I hope the film inspires others as it has truly inspired me – to honor the world around us and continue to empower women everywhere.”

Photos of the premiere are available upon request.


Quinn Konarska, Producer,


Quinn Konarska, Producer,