Pros: incredible detail and work in the NICU, attention to detail Cons: extremely too long The Bottom Line: "As I grow older, you grow wiser Watching my mistakes" ~SIA
Little Man is a two hour documentary chronicling the life of Nicholas, born 100 days early. He is the child of Nicole Conn, the director, and her partner, Gwen Baba. Nicole, a writer and director, oversees the entire production of this film, giving it an heavily one-sided view. Gwen, a political activist, struggled to accept little Nicholas into their family amidst all the strife. This film is not rated and was nominated for, and won, 10 awards.
The Baba-Conn family had one child already, Gabrielle, about 3 years old, when they decided they wanted another. Baba had given birth to Gabrielle so Conn decided she wanted the experience of childbirth herself. However her age became a deterrent and she miscarried shortly after her in vitro. They turned to a surrogate who, it turned out, was less than truthful about her own health. By the time she was 20 weeks pregnant, it was determined there was a problem with little Nicholas and she was forced to deliver prematurely.
The option was presented concerning abortion, but Nicole was steadfast against terminating her child, deciding to bring this precarious life into being. Weighing less than one pound, he began life on tenuous terms. Doctors gave him a survival rate of .0004%. The documentary proceeds to cover his extensive struggle to live, the chaos presented to the family, and the neglect by Nicole to the rest of the family.
There is incredible coverage in the NICU at the hospital, followed by his life among the family once he is released into their care at home. Basically their lives became complete turmoil with endless health care personnel trudging through their lives and one medical scare after another.
Overall this was a troubling documentary. Certainly the suffering of the child was foremost, as well as the pain the women were going through. However, overriding all that was the repetitive concept of the film. I don't want to sound insensitive but after a while we simply got it ... extreme care had to be given to this damage child. Extensive medical practices had to be followed, it was a mentally, physically, and emotionally draining experience. It could have easily been told in a shorter time period because after a while it was just a run through of what had already occurred many times before.
The filming was incredible since it is forbidden now for camera work in the NICU. It was both heart wrenching and uplifting to watch these incredible nurses and doctors do their work on the tiny patients. Such love, dedication, and devotion. One the plus side, as well, was the interaction of the entire family, especially little Gabrielle, with Nicholas once he came home from the hospital.
DVD extras included interviews with Gwen & Nicole [mostly repeating what had already been covered in the documentary], and an update on Nicholas ... 3 years old at the time of filming release.
While I enjoyed the background, the story, and the extensive information, I felt it just lasted way too long for the subject matter.