The twentieth century saw the medical establishment intervene in childbirth, promising more safety and less pain than a traditional home birth. Though hospital births became the norm, certain institutional practices led to a pushback. When the wife of one of the filmmakers in the Kartemquin cooperative became pregnant, the group decided to chronicle the experience of natural childbirth in Marco. The real drama unfolds when the young couple faces the hostile reactions of the established medical community. They finally find a receptive doctor in Wisconsin, but that means they must race over the state line when it's time to deliver. This cinema verite-style film follows the couple as they learn about natural childbirth, discuss plans with medical staff, and experience the birth of their son, Marco. "A luminous, joyous human document" (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times). Original music by Philip Glass.
As co-directed by Gordon Quinn and Gerald Temaner, the documentary MARCO concerns an unusual decision made by one of the filmmakers' wives: upon conceiving a child, she decides that she wants to opt for the Lamaze method of natural childbirth in lieu of anesthesia. Her husband readily agrees with her. But it being 1969, the couple has to travel to a hospital in Wisconsin to accommodate a doctor who embraces this process, and must race over the state line when the day finally arrives. This film observes the journey, as the marrieds discuss their decision with loved ones, learn about drug-free delivery and prepare themselves for the experience.