7.5/10
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2 user

The Milky Way (2014)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Family | April 2014 (USA)
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2:13 | Trailer
The Milky Way is a groundbreaking breastfeeding documentary that will change the face of American motherhood. What 'Food, Inc.' did for the food industry in America, this film will do for ... See full summary »

Director:

Jon Fitzgerald
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Cast

Credited cast:
Michael Abou-Dakn Michael Abou-Dakn ... Himself
Jennifer Davidson Jennifer Davidson ... Jennifer
Minnie Driver
Jay Gordon Jay Gordon ... Himself
Kirsty Hume
Catarina Hurtig Catarina Hurtig ... Herself
Rachel Luttrell
James McKenna James McKenna ... Himself
Farhad Mohit Farhad Mohit
Chantal Molnar Chantal Molnar ... Chantal
Alanis Morissette ... Herself
Carrie-Anne Moss
Justine Pasek
Zoe Rogers ... Herself
Nushin Sabet Nushin Sabet
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Storyline

The Milky Way is a groundbreaking breastfeeding documentary that will change the face of American motherhood. What 'Food, Inc.' did for the food industry in America, this film will do for breastfeeding in our country. It will make every viewer rethink motherhood and how we treat mothers. It is a film that will empower each woman to trust her body, her baby, and herself in her journey as a mother. It will make her laugh, cry, nod fiercely in agreement, get angry, and then get so inspired it will be impossible not to take action. This film will start a galactic revolution. Hold on and stand by.

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Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA | Germany | Sweden

Language:

English

Release Date:

April 2014 (USA) See more »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
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User Reviews

 
Movie hit some important points ... and missed some more important points
8 May 2018 | by petercoolidgeSee all my reviews

This movie started out with such promise ... Unfortunately it squandered such good will rather quickly.

What makes this unfortunate is that some of the information in this documentary is really good and some of the points it makes about modern society need to be said. And then this movie delves into some serious alt-med conspiracies like autism scares, big pharma(formula?) scare mongering, and some vaccine paranoia.

The best way to describe the "science" in this movie is that it scratches the surface, but fails to meaningfully go deeper. For instance, research has shown that outcomes (morbidity and mortality aka death and disease) for breastfed infants and mothers are superior compared to formula fed infants. HOWEVER, recent research has shown two things: some of those differences are getting smaller as manufactured formula becomes more and more like breast milk, and many of the discrepancies between formula fed and breastfed infants seem to disappear once studies correct for the demographic differences between breastfed and formula fed infants. Also, this movie never hesitated to describe the outcomes improved by breastfeeding, however at no point did they describe by how much outcomes are improved. I suspect it's because the scientific data shows significant but modest differences between the two groups, rather than the night and day differences of either being perfectly healthy or riddled with disease that are portrayed in this movie.

This movie absolutely knocks it out of the part when they call out current attitudes in our culture which sexualize breasts in spite of their biological function. Then the film speaks to several women about the embarrassment they suffered breast feeding in public. This is immensely powerful, and these voices needed to be heard.

I was a little disappointed that the movie only made passing remarks about maternal leave policies in European countries in comparison to America. Given that the largest factor which explains breastfeeding disparities in America is income level, it would have been so impactful to tell the stories of working class women in America versus Germany or Norway and how different their experiences are.

Then there is the pediatrician in this film ... who tries to say with a straight face that the American Academy of Pediatrics, and by extension the pediatrics profession, only thinks in terms of illness and not in terms of wellness.

THIS IS NEWS TO ME. When I took a pediatrics rotation in school ALL WE TALKED ABOUT WAS WELLNESS. We learned how to examine children for the markers of proper growth and development, including risk for obesity. The pediatric department would have LOVED to see more mothers breastfeeding, unfortunately most of our patients had zero support outside of family and the meager social services available. Why didn't this movie choose to address the role of poverty and lack of social services in explaining breastfeeding rates?

To be fair to the pediatrician, given how much grey is in his hair, he MIGHT have gone to school and residency before the AAP made wellness a big part of their mission, or he might have gone to programs which failed to make wellness an important part of their curriculum. It shows that he is not keeping up with the standards of his profession, which calls his expertise as a scientist into question. However that becomes more difficult to believe as he also goes on to make several wacky claims, like how growth charts are misleading, you know cause they are made by the formula companies. Which is bananas because the two main organizations which publish growth curves are the WHO and the CDC. I guess Enfamil must be a subsidiary or a shell company of the CDC. He also makes an amazing prediction about autism rates, but I'll get to that in a few paragraphs.

Then there was the garbage about CORN SYRUP SOLIDS. According to this movie they are in ALL BABY FORMULA, and it is eeeeeevil because either they're made from corn or it's loaded with fructose

Which surprised me, because a.) Corn Syrup Solids contain NO fructose, it's just glucose monosaccharides and short glucose chains and b.) of the big three formula manufacturers, NONE of them put CSS in their first-line (or standard) baby formula, it's the specialty formulas designed for specific medical conditions.

Towards the end of the movie it takes a dark turn and starts predicting that as more and more mothers continue to formula feed, diseases like ADHD, autism and asthma are only going to increase, until by 2050, 50% of children will be autistic. If only there was a reference for that whopper of a claim.

In closing, this documentary had a good goal, a noble aim. It wanted to address a serious problem in our society today, unfortunately it decided to do a paper-thin dive into the topic and failed to fact check most of their claims. While the film highlighted cultural attitudes which impede breastfeeding, it ignored much more important economic realities that require so many American women to formula feed. I can't give this film a one star review because I feel its intention wasn't to fear-monger, it had a good goal to make the argument for breast feeding. Unfortunately the film makers decided to listen to bad arguments and only made a cursory attempt to fully explore the good arguments presented to them.


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