My Little One




texts + stills











Sitting face to face with the gynaecologist, the idea of this film came to me almost like a reflex. A sort of self-defence: In any event, that which is about to happen now is too much for me. Documentation as evidence where orientation is threatened to get lost in inner chaos. The need to not keep the anguish surrounding this decision to myself forever, but to make public at some time that which would normally only take place in the silence of privacy.

From my working experience as a midwife, I know that the decision against her own child may become a mother’s lifelong companion - like a dark and ominous shadow. Apart from protecting her health, something which is provided for by law, there is also an unspoken message coupled with the possibility of choosing between life and death:
“If you fail at the unpredictable tasks put to you by your sick, unborn child, it’s only you that are to blame.“

Gisela Tuchtenhagen immediately responds to my plea to come: Four days later we do the first shooting. I tell her, my intimate friend, what’s going on – just as I would have done without the camera. Gisela ingests it all with compassion and sympathy. Her loving eye behind the camera never leaves me unprotected, nor exposed.

At the time, I did not know whether I really would use the very personal video material for the film.
It could possibly be the source of inspiration for a more associative approach to telling my story. At the same time, I too am taking pictures with the video camera, shots out of my everyday life during this crisis and afterwards, the time with Martin – the first ones on the day of the diagnosis. Not before one year later, did I view all the material for the first time. It is a challenge finding the appropriate form for this film – altogether four years I was engulfed in this work.

Katja Baumgarten (midwife and filmmaker)