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Motherland: An Intimate Glimpse into the World's Busiest Maternity Hospital

A raw and intimate journey into the heart of the world's busiest maternity hospital.

Keywords: Motherland, maternity hospital, Philippines, women's rights, reproductive health, overpopulation. Three-word summary: Intimate, Eye-opening, Heartrending


'Motherland', a poignant documentary directed by Ramona S. Diaz, was released in 2017. The film brings viewers into the heart of the planet's busiest maternity hospital, located in the Philippines. In today's context, 'Motherland' is a timely exploration of overpopulation, reproductive health, and women's rights.


'Motherland' drops viewers into a bustling maternity ward, where initially, the people are strangers. As the film progresses, it becomes an intimately absorbing narrative, familiarizing us with the women at the center of the story and their struggles, triumphs, and everyday realities.

More Film Analysis



The documentary adopts an observational approach, allowing the scenes to unfold naturally. The depth of exploration into the subject matter is commendable, presenting an unfiltered look at the realities of childbirth, motherhood, and health care in a developing country.

Historical and Factual Context


The Philippines, where 'Motherland' is set, has one of the highest birth rates in the world. This is further compounded by the country's struggle with poverty and limited access to quality healthcare.

Key themes in the film

  • The plight of women in overpopulated countries
  • The importance of reproductive healthcare
  • The universal experiences of motherhood

Film Comparisons

Unlike other documentaries on iWonder that focus on healthcare, 'Motherland' distinguishes itself by focusing on maternity care in a developing country.

Noteworthy Moments

One particularly impactful moment in 'Motherland' is the birth of a premature baby, highlighting the stark realities of the hospital's limited resources.


'Motherland' has been praised for its candid portrayal of life in a busy maternity ward. Critics lauded it as "deeply moving" and "eye-opening".


'Motherland' is an important documentary that shines a light on the challenges and joys of motherhood in a unique setting. It's a must-watch for those interested in women's rights, healthcare, and social issues.

More film information:


  • IMDB score: 7.1
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 94%
  • Metacritic score: 85
  • Film Festival Awards: 3 wins & 6 nominations



  • The mothers: A diverse group of women navigating the challenges of childbirth and motherhood.
  • The healthcare workers: Dedicated professionals working tirelessly in a high-pressure environment.



  • The maternity ward: The bustling epicenter of the documentary.
  • The Philippines: The broader cultural and societal backdrop of the film.

Key Questions Raised by the Film

  • How does overpopulation impact healthcare?
  • What challenges do women face in accessing reproductive healthcare?

I wonder what the film would be in another art form

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  1. A famous book, it would be 'The Handmaid's Tale' by Margaret Atwood, for its focus on women's rights and reproductive issues.
  2. A famous song, it would be 'Imagine' by John Lennon, for its hope for a better world despite harsh realities.
  3. A famous piece of art, it would be Frida Kahlo's 'The Two Fridas', representing the duality of pain and strength in women.
  4. A famous celebrity, it would be Angelina Jolie, known for her humanitarian work, especially concerning women's rights.
  5. A colour, it would be red, symbolizing both the beauty and the struggle of life.
  6. A music style, it would be folk music, for its raw and honest storytelling.

Watch Motherland - Streaming Online | iwonder (Free Trial)
Taking us into the heart of the planet’s busiest maternity hospital, the viewer is dropped like an unseen outsider into the hospital’s stream of activity. At first, the people are strangers. As the film continues, it’s absorbingly intimate, rendering the women at the heart of the story increasingly…