5 minutes





‘Suddenly you are here’ – a breathless, hilarious ode to new motherhood

Warning: this film features rapidly flashing images that can be distressing to photosensitive viewers.

The German filmmaker Henriette Rietz imagined that her parental leave would be ‘a sort of sabbatical’. The short film Postpartum is her attempt to make sense of the far more complicated, overwhelming reality that actually unfolded after she gave birth. Channelling the mood swings, sleeplessness and flow of fluids that characterised her experience, Rietz’s award-winning animation makes for an unflinching account of new motherhood.

Beyond surely providing the filmmaker, and likely some viewers, with a good deal of catharsis, the piece is also a superb showcase for Rietz’s talents. As the piece unfolds in a series of vignettes, droll asides, clever sight gags and unforgettable images – including that of zucchinis growing on Rietz in place of breasts – unfurl in a flurry. There is, of course, nothing new about motherhood. Still, Rietz’s take on the agonies, ecstasies and everything in between manages to feel fresh.

Director: Henriette Rietz