Art, Books & More

Controversial Film ‘No Más Bebés’ Highlights Latin Women’s Plight


For many, the concepts of womanhood and motherhood are so intertwined, that it’s impossible to imagine one without the other. A woman’s most cherished dream is to lovingly hold her child in her hand.

womenBut in 1975, for 10 Latin-American women, this dream was destined to remain unfulfilled. And, all thanks to a piece of paper that they unwittingly signed before undergoing emergency C-sections. Around 40 years ago LA County doctors allegedly performed unauthorized Tubal Ligation on these immigrant Mexican women. Tubal Ligation is an irreversible sterilization technique. The doctors acted on the belief that these women could do without any further children. The matter only came to light when the women approached their doctors with doubts regarding reversible family planning methods. They then sued the state and the U.S. government violating their civil rights.

This lawsuit, Madrigal v. Quilligan, forms the basis of director Renee Tajima-Peña’s poignant film No Más Bebés (No More Babies), which aired on PBS. The film follows the mental anguish and legal battles that these women faced. It also takes a look at the Government funded family programs, the under-resourced maternity wards being manned by inexperienced doctors and how women from the lower income group were targeted to undergo sterilizations without their knowledge and consent.

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Works Of Hitler And Anne Frank Enter Public Domain


World War II was one of the most destructive wars in human history. Today, not many people are alive from that era and it’s only from the monuments in the places most affected by the war, do we get a glimpse of those dark times.

Many, however, learn more about the war from the books written at that time. Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf (My Struggles) and Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl can be considered as the two sides of the same coin. These two iconic books are instrumental in providing a rather grim view of those times. While one outlines the rather perverted anti-Semitic idealism that led to a state-sponsored genocide, the other, gives a personal account of a young life where hopes are replaced by fear.

These books are now back in the news for a different reason. Both have entered The Public Domain, i.e., they have now joined the ranks of creative works that are available to the public without being subject to copyright or other legal restrictions. Both The Bavarian State, that held the rights for Mein Kampf, and the organization called Anne Frank Fonds, that held the copyright of Anne Frank’s Diary, had to relinquish their rights when these books entered The Public Domain on 1st January 2016, as the original authors have been dead for more than 70 years.