Expecting the Child

For over 30 years, Inuit women in Nunavik did not have a choice as to where they would give birth. All pregnant women in Nunavik were flown to southern hospitals for about five weeks surrounding their delivery. In 1985 Inuit women’s association Pauktuutit, together with a multidisciplinary group of health workers decided to make it possible for women to stay up North in order to give birth. Moreover, they initiated an Inuit midwives education program. The Inukjuak, the Maternity finally opened in 1998. Most inuit women now give birth in the northern maternities of Nunavik surrounded by inuit midwives and their families.
«Bringing back birth whithin communities is bringing back life in the villages.»(Puvirnituq Elder 1988). This movie sheds light on a personnal, professional and cultural level which entails birthgiving in Nunavik. In january 2005, Phoebe Atagootalook is the first inuit women to officially be approved by the perinatal committee for a homebirth since the 1960’s. The film we offer to present follows Phoebe and her family for the two weeks before the birth of her fift child : Mumlu. Our intention is to show inuit life surrounding pregnancy and birth in a modern Nunavik village. We tie it to Phoebe’s intention : «to show other Inuit women that they have a choice to give birth wherever they feel like giving birth, it’s natural and feasible to give birth at home : our gandmothers use to give birth in igloos!».

  • Amelie Breton
  • Amélie Breton
  • Glacialis Productions
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  • Runtime:
    1 hour 15 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    October 30, 2012
  • Production Budget:
    22,000 USD
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  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Royal Anthropological Film Festival
    June 14, 2013
    Europe's premier
  • Ethnographic Film Review “Eyes and Lenses X” Polish Institute of Anthropology
    Warsaw, Poland
    April 6, 2013
  • Nunavik Information Center
    Quebec City
    February 16, 2013
  • Laval university CIERA research center
    Quebec City
    November 28, 2012
  • Inuit Studies Conference, 15minutes extract
    Washington D.C
    October 26, 2012
Director Biography - Amelie Breton

I am presently a PhD Student in visual anthropology at Laval University in Quebec Canada. I have been travelling to Nunavik, the Northern part of Quebec since 2002. I mainly work in the community of Inukjuak but have travelled to other northern Quebec Inuit communities for work as an anthropologist. I previously worked as a film editor and photographer for differents research projects combining filming and research, such as Antarctic Mission (2005-2005). This is my first long documentary. I was first on that project as «the anthropologist working with the cameraman». But in 2012, when I decided to use the footage, I was alone in the Editing room as director and editor.

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Director Statement

My dream is to be close enough to people I film so I create a space where the distance between cultures is reduced to it's minimum, that is a space where we can all learn to know each other's fundings of happiness.