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London Film Festival Review: Gayby Baby

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★★★☆☆

This interesting, if not entirely successful, documentary examines the lives of children with gay couples as parents. Directed by Maya Newell, the daughter of two lesbian mothers, Gayby Baby keeps away from a more traditional, structured documentary approach and instead just plants the camera within the lives of these people and watches as their lives develop. There is no voiceover and the context of the subjects is provided through watching the families go about their lives.

The result is at times insightful, but a lot of it tells us what we generally already know: every family is different and the gender of the parents probably doesn’t really change much of this. The only real difference is that these parents may have to endure discriminatory and cruel attitudes from some of society’s worst. Rather heartbreakingly, they occasionally have to tell their children not to mention to certain people the fact they have been raised by a gay couple.

The most memorable part concerns a young boy, on the eve of his teenage years, unsure how to reconcile his belief in God and the teachings of the Bible when he is aware both condemn the relationship between his two mothers.

Newell’s film never really provides a clear solution to this problem, but it doesn’t really set out to do such a thing. Instead, we get a glimpse of the lives of a collection of vibrant, happy, kind, caring people who, like us all, sometimes get weighed down by the stresses of everyday life.

Gayby Baby screened this autumn at the BFI London Film Festival. A wider UK release date is yet to be confirmed.




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