Ten Leaves Dilated @ SXSW

A linking of Cabbage Patch Kids and childbirth/motherhood in the southern part of the United States. Sounds strange and like a stretch, doesn’t it? Yet in Kate B. Hinshaw’s short film Ten Leaves Dilated it works. In a very strange way.

During the 1980s and 1990s Cabbage Patch dolls were all the rage. Every kid wanted one (or more) and every parent was running around town trying to find one to buy. The story created around them to explain how they are born was that they came out of cabbage leaves. In the Cabbage Patch headquarters in Cleveland, Georgia kids would come to watch the dolls being born. Through a simulated birth aided by employees dressed as nurses. Off to a strange start, no?

Combined with that is interviews with mothers, birth professionals and doulas which are overlaid over the visuals of the Cabbage Patch births and other fairy tales associated with birth like storks delivering babies. All this with the aim of encouraging conversation about childbirth. It is something many women go through and the means of how we all got here and precious little discussion happens about it. It is still something which occurs under a shroud of mystery.

We look at the strange phenomenon of how all the fake stories about birth are discussed openly whereas women all over the world give birth and little is known about what goes on or how it occurs. The make believe seemingly being easier to deal with.

If you are into weird and abstract then this is your deal right here. Visually it is strange as well. Shot on 16 mm it has been bleached. painted over, burnt, and scratched which gives the images a type of texture. Gives it an almost hand made look as well.

Ten Leaves Dilated is taking part in the Documentary Shorts Competition at SXSW.

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