Film Preview: “A Girl Like Her” by Ann Fessler
A GIRL LIKE HER reveals the hidden history of over a million young women who became pregnant in the 1950s and 60s and were banished to maternity homes to give birth, surrender their children, and return home alone. They were told to keep their secret, move on and forget. But, does a woman forget her child?
The film combines footage from educational films and newsreels of the time period about dating, sex, “illegitimate” pregnancy, and adoption—that both reflected and shaped the public’s understanding of single pregnancy during that time—with the voices of these mothers as they speak today, with hindsight, about the long-term impact of surrender and silence on their lives.
At one point during the film preview, one of the women said that she felt like she had no voice. So I’m pleased to be sharing this link with you so as many as possible hear these women’s voices.
The film preview begins with a woman reliving a time when she was 15 years old and dating a boy in a baby-blue ’57 Chevy — where she learned the “facts of life.” Another woman reveals that when she told her mother she was pregnant her mom viewed it has her own personal tragedy. In her own chilling words she tells us her mother told her she had to get out of the house and could never come back if she didn’t relinquish the baby. This didn’t happen to nice girls.
All of these young women between 1945 and 1973 convey they felt that they had no control — no choice but to give their babies to “good people who would adopt them and do the right thing.” These women were given no position to protest or take any other action themselves. They were also told “they would eventually forget this ever happened and to move on with their lives.”
People are now comforted with the fact that resolutions for unexpected pregnancies no longer are handled in this way. But there are still millions of women still suffering and wondering what happened to the children they gave away.
I cannot wait to see the entire film. Even this short preview was heart-wrenching and a walk back in time for me and all women of the baby-boomer generation.
Please click on the link below to take a peek at this extraordinary film.
photo credit: Ann Fessler