In celebration of director Judith Helfand living 20 years post the cancer and chemical exposure drama explored in A HEALTHY BABY GIRL, STF is delighted to show this anniversary presentation. In her debut first-person film, Helfand (co-director of BLUE VINYL, EVERYTHING’S COOL and UPRISING OF’34) tells the story of how the anti-miscarriage drug DES [administered to her mother during pregnancy] changed her life and radically informed her future.
In 1963, Helfand’s mother was prescribed the ineffective, carcinogenic synthetic hormone diethylstilbestrol (DES), meant to prevent miscarriage and ensure a healthy baby. At twenty-five, Helfand was diagnosed with DES-related cervical cancer. After a radical hysterectomy she went to her family’s home to heal and picked up her camera. The resulting video-diary is a fascinating exploration of how science, marketing and corporate power can affect our deepest relationships. Shot over five years, A HEALTHY BABY GIRL tells a story of survival, mother-daughter love, family renewal, and community activism. Intimate, humorous, and searing, it is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in the relationship between women’s health, public policy, medical ethics and corporate responsibility.