Flatpack Festival
Film for all the senses

Postpartum: the joy of motherhood

Lucile Bourliaud
Friday 21st May, 2021 Posted by Lucile Bourliaud

Arguably the sweetest film in the festival programme, Postpartum looks at the new life of a young mother with irresistible humour and a refreshing sincerity. We asked another mum to respond to Henriette Rietz's moving and relatable self-portrait.

To watch the film, head over to our virtual festival. Postpartum is part of the Short Film Competition programme Family Ties, available from 22-24 May to viewers in the UK and Northern Ireland with a Short Film Pass or a Flatpass.

Reading time: 2 mins

Postpartum early sketches (c) Henriette Rietz

By Irene Segura, Manchester-based arts professional and mum of Oscar (9 months):

The early days of motherhood are such a blurry, beautifully intense mess that a few months down the line you have pretty much forgotten what it was all about. Watching Postpartum instantly took me back to the moment when Oscar and I first met. That first time he was placed on my chest and his dark eyes looked at me is something I will never forget, and reliving it made me feel all fuzzy inside.

Then chaos strikes, and very much like the character in the animation you completely abandon yourself and float, crawl, jump and wobble through it all. I loved how the shapes and colours illustrated the inexistence of a barrier between days and nights - literally didn't know when one ended and the other started... Did they at any point?

I found the humour in it very relatable, and I remember several incredibly surreal moments in my own experience... New mums are actually creative gold mines! It's funny how you're constantly battling with exhaustion, pain, self doubt while at the same time trying to manage your hormones literally making you crazy... And yet when you have a moment of bliss you just forget and this overwhelming sense of love takes over everything.

I think the pandemic has meant there's been less social media pressure on being a 'supermum' but I love that it's acknowledged in the animation.

Nursing, cake, nursing, cake, nursing, cake, nursing cake?... Totally!

It's a lovely and refreshingly realistic portrayal of becoming a mum and sends a beautiful empowering message to all the mamas out there.

Postpartum early sketches (c) Henriette Rietz

To find out what Henriette Rietz's life is like now, check out the GIF update she made for Flatpack!

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