Christy Turlington's 'No Woman, No Cry': Every mother counts


Image Credit: OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network

Last night Christy Turlington Burns’ documentary No Woman, No Cry premiered on Oprah’s OWN network. Struck by her own sense of mortality after the difficult delivery of her daughter Grace, Turlington worried over the millions of women around the world without access to the excellent care she received. (Each day 1,000 women die in childbirth, which is but one of the documentary’s many terrifying statistics.) The two-hour film chronicles various women’s stories in Tanzania, Bangladesh, central Florida, Guatemala, as well as the despair of an American widower who lost his wife to a rare, under-researched condition during the delivery of their son. It was harrowing, infuriating stuff, though maybe would make a more  effective and context-filled series than a one-shot film. 

In a brief conversation following the film, Turlington and her husband Ed Burns sat in interview chairs to discuss her motivation in making the film. The set-up sounds awkward, but Turlington struck me as passionate, practical-minded, and solution-oriented. I do wish that that woman had showed up more in her documentary. Instead Turlington served as a rather clumsy on-screen anchor in between hard-scrabble locales—musing in her serene voice over idyllic scenes of her brushing her teeth or reading to her children in her lovely Manhattan apartment. “In some ways I can relate to Monica,” she says, empathizing with a scared woman in Bangladesh. “I also wanted to have a home birth.” Moments like that only undercut the very real and very fine work she did in this film and in her ongoing campaign Every Mother Counts.

Did any of you mothers or daughters (or fathers and sons!) watch? Were you impressed by Turlington’s dual work as a director and women’s advocate?

Comments (10 total) Add your comment
  • Tina

    Is she the supermodel that said she doesn’t get out of bed for no more than 10,000 dollars?

    • wendy

      no, that was Linda Evangelista

    • Couchtime With Jill

      No, that was Linda Evangelista.

    • one more time with feeling…

      no, that was Linda Evangelista

    • JMB in FL

      Wait… I think it was … Linda Evangelista? lol

  • LibbyP

    I wish I’d know about this BEFORE it ran. I’ve just searched and it is not re-running in the next two weeks.

    • maiv

      OWN has it up on their channel

      • maiv

        Youtube channel

  • holly

    You can watch it online. I have to say I was impressed that a super model wrote and directed this.

  • Amit

    Christy is very impressive, she is well spoken and passionate, she’s not just putting her (very) beautiful face on a cause.

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