FIRST COMES LOVE (1HR 47' OR 2 X 53')
DIRECTED BY NINA DAVENPORT
“A great doc…wise, warm, funny, open, and more interested in life as it’s actually lived than any other to debut this summer.”
Alan Scherstuhl, The Village Voice
“A brave relatable adventure about forging a new family.”
-Julie Hinds, Detroit Free Press
“The film’s heart is hard to resist . . . there are many glimmers of truth in Davenport’s
painful but beautiful documentary about becoming a parent.”
Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News
John Powers, Vogue
First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in the baby carriage. For filmmaker Nina Davenport, single at age forty-one, things did not go according to plan so she decides to have a baby on her own, never minding the odds stacked against her or the extra hurdles of living in a big city.
Filming the whole process, she excels at candor and comedy. Think of a real-life Girls, only with more grown-up problems. Nina has spent over a decade turning her life experiences into cinematic essays, following the path of her mentors, documentarian Ross McElwee (Sherman’s March) and Robb Moss (The Same River Twice). Her combined talents as a cinematographer, editor, and storyteller set her apart from the average first-person filmmaker.
She develops characters and story arcs better than most Hollywood screenwriters do.
In her quest for motherhood, Nina enlists her best friend Amy as a birth partner and her gay friend Eric as a sperm donor. While pregnant, Nina winds up dating a film critic in an unusual display of sympathy between a director and a reviewer. The process of babymaking affects all their lives profoundly. Additionally, Nina struggles to cope with the recent death of her mother, who had been a source of strength, and seeks to improve relations with her father, a source of constant discouragement.
The film taps into the zeitgeist topic of how the modern family is being reimagined in the early twenty-first century. They say it takes a village to raise a child. In Nina’s case, that village is populated by urbanites who have delayed procreation for as long as possible and are late in confronting its joys and chores. Nina is unflinching at exposing her inner and outer self as a case study. She’s refreshingly frank and funny about the trials that women endure in order to get pregnant, give birth and manage the early years of parenting. After watching, you’ll want to thank your mother.