DOCU. New Caledonia: born between two islands

Pregnant women from the Loyalty Islands leave the tribe a month before giving birth to give birth in a hospital in Noumea. With modesty and humour, they recount medicine and custom, intimacy and ritual, the family and an entire community. Their children are called Moé, Pani or Ernest. Share the step-by-step follow-up of these babies from the end of the world.

In the Caledonian archipelago, newborns are often said to be "born between two islands". All are French but also Kanak, Wallisian, Caledonian, European. Their real story started nine months earlier. Because there is nothing more common than a birth, and yet nothing more unique, because there is nothing more intimate, and nothing more social, this film invites us to tell the different stages of their arrival in this world.

Sons and daughters of an astonishing mix, many children make the link between distant cultures and horizons, naturally build bridges between islands and sometimes continents. But on the island of Lifou, within the Melanesian community, the expression "to be born between two islands" takes on a very special dimension.

The island of Lifou has only one dispensary for monitoring the first months of pregnancy for pregnant women. Since 2009, all women in Caledonia have been forced to leave their tribe and sometimes their island to give birth in one of the two maternity hospitals on Grande Terre.

A month before giving birth to their child, they leave for a long, sometimes painful, always happy journey to give birth at the Nouméa maternity hospital. They leave their family, their children, then find accommodation and adapt to an urban life far from the calm of Lifou. This departure is a real logistical headache and a small exile far from his family, at a pivotal moment in life.

This film seeks to follow these women, from Lifou to Noumea, through all the places they pass through before giving birth to their child. These last weeks before giving birth tell of two cultures, two medicines, two conceptions of the family.

How do you prepare for such an event? What do these founding months say about the Caillou communities, their differences but also everything that brings them together in the face of this universal issue?

Achievement Thomas Yzebé
Production step-by-step with the participation of France Televisions
Duration 52 mins - 2022

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