All My Babies (1952)
was selected in 2002 by the Librarian of Congress as a "culturally, historically, and artistically significant work" for permanent preservation in the National Film Registry.
This beautiful film is the story of "Miss Mary" Coley, an African-American midwife more than half a century ago in rural Georgia. Its production sponsored by the Georgia Department of Public Health as a demonstration film for illiterate "granny" midwives, All My Babies quickly transcended its initial purpose. It was used around the world by UNESCO and has become an enduring classic of nonfiction film.
All My Babies was written, produced, and directed by George C. Stoney in close collaboration with Mrs. Coley as well as with the local public health doctors and nurses and shows the preparation for and home delivery of healthy babies in both relatively good and bad rural conditions among black families at that time. The film is in addition both a deeply respectful portrait of "Miss Mary," who is revealed as an inspiring human being, and a record of the actual living conditions of her patients.
BONUS FEATURES: As a bonus, this DVD edition also includes Palmour Street (1949), a dramatized, open-ended 25-minute discussion of family relations, a film which Stoney directed on location in Gainesville, Georgia, for the Georgia Department of Public Health.
The DVD also includes a gallery of production photographs by Robert Galbraith and a video reminiscence by "Miss Mary's" grandson Bernard Coley.
Bonus features available after the main feature.
A NOTE ON THIS EDITION: Prospective viewers are advised that All My Babies includes detailed and graphic coverage of an actual home childbirth.
All My Babies was digitally mastered in high definition from an original 35mm print in the archive of The Museum of Modern Art. Palmour Street is electronically conflated from two prints, which were digitally mastered from the archival collection of the New York Public Library.
All My Babies: A Midwife’s Own Story
1952 / 54 minutes / B and W / United States
Starring "Miss Mary" Coley
Written, Directed, and Produced by George C. Stoney for the Georgia Department of Public Health
Photographed by Peaslee Bond
Music by Louis Appelbaum
Music Performed by the Musical Art Chorus, Directed by Othello C. Wilson
Palmour Street (A Study in Family Life)
1949 / 25 minutes / B and W / United States
Directed by Bill Clifford and George C. Stoney
Produced by Southern Educational Film Production Service, Athens, GA, for the Georgia Department of Public Health
Written by George C. Stoney Music by Louis Appelbaum
PRODUCED FOR DVD BY DAVID SHEPARD