Last Saturday afternoon, it was 2 degrees, with angry, in-your-face, wind in Massachusetts. So I did what any hardy New Englander would do! I made a cup of tea, wrapped in a blanket on my couch, and watched a movie. I purchased and downloaded the film One More Shot from Vimeo. It is also available on iTunes, Amazon, Vudu, and premieres on Netflix this Monday, January 15th. One More Shot is a documentary that vividly tells the story of a couple navigating infertility. Maya and Noah are not only the main subjects of the movie but also the filmmakers, which makes this such a unique, intimate view into the struggle to become parents. Since Noah is a producer of unscripted television, it is understandable that how they tried to “make sense” of the challenges of family building (to the extent this is even possible) was to capture it on film. I think and hope doing this was helpful to them. And I know it is beneficial for the public at large – where too much ignorance, stigma and insensitivity about infertility still exists.
First of all, to me, the movie title is perfect – the literal shots of the injections, the filming of many shots by the camera over three years (!), and making yet another attempt at parenthood. Many infertility warriors face a crossroads, often more than once. Do we try again? HOW do we afford/cope with/manage one more shot? How do we not?
Not to sound like a movie poster quote, but I laughed and cried watching One More Shot. Yes you read that right. Though there are lots of sad moments, I loved seeing Noah and Maya make each other laugh sometimes. Just as humor helps break the ice in real life, it helped break the tension of the documentary too. I was grateful also that the film shows the couple’s disagreements, frustrations, and differing reactions. This isn’t glossy and neatly packaged. One More Shot felt very real, which is why I think it should be required viewing for the loved ones of people that are struggling to make their dream of parenthood come true. Put yourself in our shoes…. How would YOU feel?
Often Noah is behind the camera himself, and other times the couple’s dear friend Gabriel, another producer on the film, is manning the camera. This enables both Noah and Maya to be shown throughout – including injections, doctor visits, procedures, and very emotional moments like receiving those clinic calls after the two week wait. Because they were either filming themselves, or someone they trusted completely, the couple seemed like they forgot the camera was there.
Noah and Maya also interview others who struggled to build their families, which I thought was a great addition to One More Shot. This highlighted the many paths to parenthood that individuals and couples pursue. However, I would’ve appreciated if the film featured a couple who resolved their infertility without parenting.
As the credits rolled on One More Shot, I realized that I had been holding my breath for lots of it. I do the same thing each time I watch my beloved Vegas Baby film. I think it is because good, sensitive, raw filmmaking about family building challenges bring me RIGHT back to my own – not in a bad way, but very powerfully.