The documentary Gli equilibristi (The Equilibrists) deals with
a subject made of gray areas and thin borders: death before
birth. Death itself is a taboo in our society, death before birth
is unconceivable and usually denied.
The directors of the movie experienced the death of a son
during pregnancy. Testing on their own skin the silence and
indifference of society, they gained the necessary sensibility
to face this topic in a documentary.
The project originates from the meeting with the Association
CiaoLapo, which has been engaged to break the silence and
spread social awareness on perinatal bereavement for a
decade, creating a network between citizens and health care.
The documentary will recount the personal experiences of the
directors and of other parents striked by the death of a son or
a daughter during pregnancy, together with the stories of the
people in charge of welcoming new lifes who found
themselves sharing such a big bereavement and its
The meeting with CiaoLapo allowed us to realize how the
emotions that we felt should be normal and how complex it is
to deal with a perinatal bereavement. We finally felt
understood and we regret not having met such a trained staff
in our way into the hospital. We felt that we were still in time
to rescue our story with our unborn son.
The nature of perinatal bereavement’s taboo hampers
comprehension and social acceptance, and makes it difficult –
even for the closest relatives and friends and for health care operators - to receive and allow correct expression of pain,
the only way to elaborate such a pain.
In order to offer an accurate support to bereaved parents, it
is necessary to be able to talk about their mourning. Visual
arts should contribute to raise awareness by providing images
and words to tell crucial personal events that otherwise
would be convict to oblivion.