The Beginning Of Life: A Must-See Doc for Parents



Making Family Priority

To truly appreciate The Beginning Of Life, one must be a parent. Not to say that if you don’t have children, you can’t enjoy a great documentary. But it’s just not the same; most parents have an understanding that humans without children could never really grasp. You have to experience motherhood and fatherhood to understand how much babies change our lives and change us.

Having a child is life altering, this I know having had my daughter May 12th of last year. I love digging, researching and exploring until I find new viewing material to ingest. Netflix has some of the best documentaries, in my opinion, along with some of the best original shows. But its documentaries really strike a chord with me.

The Beginning Of Life explores the importance of the first few years of a baby’s life. What’s unique about the documentary is that it features mothers from all over the world. As an American, it was eye-opening and humbling to realize that most of us are wealthy in comparison to residents of other countries. We have family and community resources in addition to material wealth that not everyone has.

This is one of the more depressing moments in the documentary, seeing impoverished families unable to feed their children. In one heartbreaking scene, we see a young girl (maybe 8 or 9 years old) taking care of her young brother and toddler sister. The audience never learns what ever happened to the parents of the three children. The girl has to play caretaker to her younger siblings and also takes on the role of managing the one-room shack in which they live. The little girl fixes the roof so it doesn’t leak on her siblings. Then, she is seen playing “mom” as she rocks her crying sister. Desperate to keep the family fed, she then scrounges together a few morsels that she calls a meal. When asked about her dreams and aspirations, she responds that she doesn’t have any.

The scenes of poverty are heart-wrenching. Some families don’t have enough food and other basic necessities, juxtaposed to other families around the world that can afford to stay home. Especially in some countries in Europe that have generous maternal and paternal leave, both mother and father sharing in duties equally was refreshing to see. The Beginning Of Life exposes the importance of the first three years of a child’s life, but equally helps the audience to understand that not everyone has resources or the opportunity to stay at home with a child for the crucial first years. For those of us able to do so, definitely feel fortunate as we realize we shouldn’t take what we do have for granted.


About Sonyo Estavillo

I am a creative professional with extensive project experience from concept to development (scripted and non-scripted). My talents are diverse and include: producing, directing, production management, videography, social media/viral marketing, research, non-linear editing, story development, and content writing. *Masters in Television, Radio, & Film @ Newhouse, Syracuse University *Bachelors in Film Production @ CSULB

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