IN-UTERO: A Human Experience From Conception To Birth And Beyond

IN-UTERO Synopsis

IN-UTERO is a cinematic rumination on what will emerge as the most provocative subject of the 21st Century – life in the womb and its lasting impact on human development, human behavior, and the state of the world.

IN-UTERO brings together for the first time convincing data that explains why some of us face challenges from the start while others thrive.

Fetal origins experts, research scientists, psychologists, doctors, and midwives – as well as examples from popular culture and mythology – collectively demonstrate how our experiences in utero shape our future.

Prepare to be surprised, intrigued, but no longer baffled by what the future holds for yourself, your loved ones, and the human race.

Check out IN-UTERO screening info here.


Essential and illuminating viewing for anyone touched by parenthood.

Carl Spence
Artistic Director, Seattle International Film Festival

Overall this is definitely one of the best documentaries I’ve seen in years. It has both: an eye-opening quality and a replay value.

Anna Jozwiak

A mind bending look at just how early our life circumstances affect us, and why mythsand fairy tales have the power to soothe us. An unmissable viewing experience if youhave even an ounce of curiosity about the course of human events.

Courtney Pledger
Executive Director, Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival

A damning exposé on the health care issues facing women today. Filmmaker KathleenGyllenhaal uses testimonials from health care experts, as well as cutting edge researchto remind everyone that a newborn baby is only as healthy as its mother.

J. R. Kinnard
Sound On Sight

A groundbreaking and ambitious mission to investigate ‘How are we formed? Who are we? Why are we who we are?

Lisa Reagan
Kindred Media

IN-UTERO A Groundbreaking Prenatal Documentary Film


Through enlightening and oftentimes poignant interviews with experts and pioneers, IN-UTERO paints a complex tapestry of the human experience from conception to birth.

Tapping into cultural myths, popular movies, and technological trends, the film demonstrates how our experiences in utero preoccupy us throughout our lives.

Experts in the fast-growing field of epigenetics explain that we are not only our genes but a product of our environment as well, a proven fact that changes our perception of stress and exposures to the environment during pregnancy.

The film looks at how these environmental effects are passed down through the generations through our genes, making it scientifically plausible that a traumatic event that affected your grandma could leave a mark on your genes.

As if this weren’t eye-opening enough, the film reveals through extensive interviews with psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychoanalysts that similar theories of prenatal life have been in play as early as the 1900’s, and have gained traction ever since.

In that sense, the hard sciences are only just beginning to catch up with what others have been saying for decades.

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Life In The Womb And Its Lasting Impact


Now, experts in all fields have begun to see the link between the state of the world and prenatal life. Open up the news any day and you’ll see a new article about the prenatal period.

In just the last few years, enormous strides have been made in understanding the biological, psychological and sociological impact of our time in the womb. Scientists at the Allen Institute for Brain Research discovered that disorders such as autism and schizophrenia begin before birth.

In Michigan, researchers have developed MRI technology that can capture incredible images of a developing fetus’s brain, allowing them to study how areas of the brain begin to link up and coordinate activity.

Meanwhile, other scientists and psychologists are finding that prolonged stress such as poverty, and traumatic events such as Ferguson and 9/11 impact a developing fetus on a genetic level.

Others have found that depressed or stressed mothers have higher levels of the hormone cortisol, which negatively affects the fetus by constricting blood flow to the placenta. The list goes on.

All of this research urges us to think about who we are and how the foundations of who we’ve become all began long before we were even born, and ultimately, how we can set our children up for better lives in the generations to come.

A Must Watch Film

It’s clear that IN-UTERO is an extremely timely and important film. Through interviews with midwives and prenatal psychologists, IN-UTERO brings into focus a new field devoted to prenatal life. Time will tell how those whose lives are “known” from the beginning will lead us into the future.

The Director Of In-UTERO

Kathleen Man Gyllenhaal

Kathleen Man Gyllenhaal (writer/director) was born and raised in Oahu, Hawaii and currently lives in Los Angeles. She is the writer/director of a diverse body of award-winning dramas and documentaries

Her work including Beauty Mark, a social documentary exploring America’s obsession with body image, perfection, and success, and Sita, a Girl from Jambu, an ethnographic drama about child sex trafficking in Nepal.

Kathleen taught at the University of Colorado-Boulder, then Vassar College, where she obtained tenure.

From there, she transitioned to Hollywood, co-producing the feature film Grassroots, starring Jason Biggs, Cedric the Entertainer and Lauren Ambrose, released by Samuel Goldwyn Films.

Recently, Kathleen wrote and directed the award-winning Lychee Thieves, an Academy Award qualifying live-action short.

She is currently writing The Kennedy Detail, a feature film based on the New York Times bestseller, and developing dramatic content for television.

Content republished with permission granted by IN-UTERO

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