Sachiko Fukumoto is a diver, actor and – now – film-maker from Japan. Her partner is New Zealander William Trubridge, the world champion free-diver who featured extensively in The Deepest Breath, which I was lucky enough to see and review a few weeks back.
Fukumoto and Trubridge were expecting their first child a few years back, and, wanting a water birth, were advised by their Japanese midwife to come to Aotearoa. As our medical system would be more respectful of a mother's decision about how and where she should give birth, than the Japanese establishment would be. Back at the Trubridge family home, in a birthing pool, Sachiko had exactly the birth she wanted, and a gorgeous healthy daughter was brought into the world. But the experience had also started Sachiko on a journey of discovery around the Pacific, from Japan to here to Hawaii and many places in between, to explore the medical systems in our ocean-bound lands, and how traditional practices are being restored – or still suppressed – among our Pacific neighbours.
Pacific Mother is a document of that journey. Film-maker Katherine McRae follows Sachiko as she travels, meets the women who are driving the changes and brings back an incredible collection of stories and experiences. The film is deftly and intelligently edited together, creating a unified narrative out of these diverse strands.
Read the full Stuff review here.