Tuesday, February 23, 2010

In the Womb

FB and I just watched the National Geographic documentary In the Womb. Meh. It was not great.

Some of the footage was interesting, particularly the 3-D and 4-D scans, but the whole thing dragged on a bit. The segment on the second trimester was especially protracted.

I wish there had been more context. For the most part, the narration played over the same dozen computer-animated clips over and over again, without offering a lot of comparative information. The most interesting parts were when the camera ventured outside the womb to show an in-utero surgical procedure or . . . well, that was really the only time. There were 1,000 shots of pregnant women's abdomens — strangely, every woman in this movie wears midriff-baring shirts for the duration of her pregnancy — but those clips were generally static and context-free.

I would have liked to see more charts and graphs, more discussion of complications, and more discussion of worldwide practices and statistics. I suppose they wanted to focus on the "typical" development of a single fetus, but it was frustratingly vague and general. The narrator didn't even offer basic information like how much the baby weighed at birth, which took away from the particular birth story. If they wanted to do general development, they should have included more statistics and variations; if they wanted to showcase a particular case as typical, they should have given the specific details.

In all, it was unsatisfying. And long (90 minutes). And I found the weird blue, zappy-sounding neuron theme really unsettling.

No comments:

Post a Comment