Skip to main content
The Independent Critic

Gordon Quinn and Gerald Temaner
82 Mins.
Facets Video (DVD)
Interview w/Filmmakers; The Family; Seven Years Later; The Family; Forty Years Later; Documents from the Early Years

 "Kartemquin Films Collection - The Early Years, Vol. 3" Revoew 
A remarkable documenting of the awesomeness of the birthing experience, Marco is a 1970 documentary being brought back to life by those incredible folks at Facets Video for a DVD release. A product of The Kartemquin Films Collection, Marco was one of the early films, a film that manages to feel timely even though it's core issues are issues that no longer present as controversial in the childbirth arena.

Marco follows the wife of one of the filmmakers who decides to give birth without pain medication using the Lamaze method of childbirth. Coached by her own husband, she is confronted with disbelief, superstition and, at times, downright hostility. In order to find a doctor who will respect their wishes, these parents-to-be have to make arrangements with a hospital in Wisconsin and race over the state line when the baby comes.

Seems a little weird now, doesn't it?

Yet, a mere 40 years ago the subject was quite relevant as ideas such as the Lamaze Method were considered contemporary and controversial. Marco, the name of their son, is a beautiful and lovingly constructed film that captures magnificently yet simply the full spectrum of thoughts and emotions around the birthing experience ranging from innocence to humor to pain and, of course, a bit of anxiety.

This 82-minute DVD includes a host of DVD extras, including an interview with the filmmakers and multiple looks at the family involved years later. Co-directed by Gordon Quinn and Gerald Temaner, Marco goes deep inside the lives of this couple and, as did the vast majority of the Kartemquin films, it makes you feel like you're truly experiencing their lives. Marco also features an exceptional original score courtesy of the fantastic Philip Glass, a perfect touch to companion this intimate gem of a film.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic