An e-pal objected to the part in my review of The Nativity Story where I wrote:
For all the talk of “realism” and “authenticity” that has surrounded this film, it is still very much a family-friendly Christmas pageant, a Christmas crèche brought to theatrical life. While Mary does experience labor pains, the birth of Jesus is remarkably clean, with no placenta or umbilical cord in sight.
To this, my e-pal replied:
Can you think of any movie that showed the placenta or umbilical cord in a birth scene?
To which I replied that, as a matter of fact, I can. In fact, two such movies are opening in North America this month — and both of them have, shall we say, indirect ties to The Nativity Story (one due to what you might call its more allegorical elements, the other because it, like The Nativity Story, is a follow-up of sorts to a certain other movie — and don’t click on those hyperlinks if you would rather not know the identity of the films in question).
It’s an interesting question, though: How many other films have shown the placenta or the umbilical cord, or have at least allowed for the existence of such things out-of-frame (as indicated by the movements of the midwife’s arms, or some such thing)? As one who had to cut two umbilical cords myself earlier this year, I am now a little more alert to this sort of detail than I used to be.
DEC 5 UPDATE: Almost forgot a third film that is opening in North America this month, in which the cord is prominently shown.