There are as many births and child delivery stories as there are people. Despite all the progress of medicine and science, it still happens that lives get lost during childbirth. To get born from one's mother's belly into our world, is a ritual of initiation everybody has gone through, but nobody remembers. On such a daily and common matter, one can hear lots of general or biological explanations, but chances to hear directly about “the experience of giving birth” are actually very limited. By interviewing mothers on their intimate experience of giving birth, and by adapting that material into animation to have it seen by audiences of all generations, we want them to feel the “reality, pains and joys of child delivery” , the “birth of life and its wonders” , and the “link between lives” (the “chain of life” ). In a difficult environment for women nowadays, women still do get pregnant and give birth. What is the reality, and the beauty of childbirth? This is a documentary animation on the very beginning and the mystery of life, told from the point of view of mothers.
Based on childbirth experiences told by several women, the film will have each story animated by a
different animation filmmaker. Three women's birth stories will be adapted into three chapters, from
night 1 to night 3.
◆ 1st night
One night, a woman wakes up as everything around is soaked with water, and discovers she has lost waters. But, although she rushes to the hospital, there is no sign of baby delivery, so she starts walking stairs up and down, in order to get contractions started. Once they start, she struggles with hurt as she is moved to the operation room. Then, eventually, the baby's heartbeat starts to move downward...
◆ 2nd night
A warm room, surrounded by a blessing family. Accompanied by a slow music, a hurting similar to the move of waves way and back. Repeated moves in rhythm, feeling as if smoke had raised on the sea, and as a soft light appeared through the white smoke, at that precise second I heard my baby's first cry.
◆ 3rd night
An expecting woman, who keeps walking and restricting her meals everyday for a safer birth. At last the day of her baby's birth has come. Along with her husband, and although they got prepared to this day in every possible way, her experience of giving life was as chilly and violent as riding a jetcoaster...
■ KOGUMA Atsuko (animation author)
Born in the Tokushima prefecture. Entered the world of animation after working as a graphic designer. Freelance artist since 1999. Works mainly on TV commercials and video animation projects as planner, director and animator through various techniques. Also active in the fields of puppet design and illustration. Beside her work, she also takes part to workshops and lectures aimed at children, thus contributing to the development of the art of animation. Permanent board member of the Japan Animation Association (JAA).
■ ARAI Chie
ARAI Chie Animator and illustrator in the handdrawn technique. After working in an animation studio, she works as a freelance artist since 2002. Beside her jobs, she freely creates and publishes flipbooks, picture books and animations. Releases short works on her website “Asitanonki Show” (http://a-nonki.net). Her love for flipbooks leaded to a collective exhibit project. Since 2006, it has been held several times on an irregular basis, mainly in Tokyo. Member of the JAA.
■ WAKAMI Arisa
Directed various animated films, such as the lyrical sand-on-glass animation “chorus” , or the baby-featuring pixilation “blessing” to celebrate the birth of her child. Beside her work on animated films for programs aimed to children, she is also actively involved in animation workshops for children, as a way to develop her craft. As of today, films made by elementary school children under her supervision have been screened in festivals through eight countries, including the Chicago children film festival. Board member of the JAA. Member of the International Animation Film Association (ASIFA), the Japanese Society of Animation Studies (JSAS) and the Japan Society of Image Arts and Sciences (JASIAS). Lecturer at the Media Arts Department, Art and Design Faculty, Joshibi University, and at the Animation Course within the Nagoya University of Plastic Arts.
Production :Child Pokke
Planning ‒ Supervising director : WAKAMI Arisa
Direction ‒ animation : ARAI Chie , KOGUMA Atsuko , WAKAMI Arisa
Musics : MATSUMOTO Yûichi , TAKAHASHI Pecka
Violin：Fumiko Kai (Rosco) Piano：Kaori Osuga (Rosco) , Kirk (Hinemos)
MA : Studio Balsa Micos Editing : ÔHASHI Hirofumi
Original stories : ANDÔ Sachiko , YABUMOTO Chiaki , WAKAMI Arisa
Voices : Nonoho , ANDÔ Sachiko , WAKAMI Arisa
Producer : ÔHASHI Hirofumi Line producer : OMODAKA Sayaka
Assistant producer , website : KAJIIE Asami
Special thanks to : HAMAYASU Yoshiko , HAYAKAWA Makiko , HOSOKAWA Rina , FUJII Arisa , Ilan Nguyên
Research & documentary support : the Yoshimura Clinic,UCHIYAMA Mutsuko
Supported by the Agency for Cultural Affairs , Government of Japan