7 responses to “Absurd Birth Scenes – Perfume”

  1. Mel

    OMG. It just sent shivers up and down my spine and my heart almost broke. I know this was common-place back then but oh man, the poor baby.

    And… yes it was quite absurd how the baby just shoots out and she kicks it!

  2. Nuyanne

    Here I am supposed to be all moved and haunted by the birth scene but instead I can’t get past my initial snicker at the tongue in cheek (I assume) idea of civil engineers coming without egos… ;)

  3. lynn reed

    this movie btw is a masterpiece & I encourage you all to watch it. I have seen it 3 times, once with a group of women & it is so deep and thought provoking

  4. Alyssa Fritts

    I agree Lynn. I read the book in high school and the book and the movie are VERY worth it!

  5. Faith

    this is weird.1st contraction then…. she’s already fully dialated to let the baby out? O_O

  6. addy

    damn. those are some powerful pelvic muscles!

  7. addy

    it seems that her greatest crime was not giving birth under the circumstances, but expecting nature to be the cure and kill the child she didn’t want or didn’t expect to live. in birthing beneath her fish stand, she did as many women did- it wasn’t a holy or sacred event, but an unfortunate part of being born a woman that happened when it did. children were not something women were able to control or regulate with a high percentage of success. (look at the margin of error even now with contraceptives- they see it as too high! compared to then, they’re a godsend!)

    my fascination was the connection with the theme of the film (scent) and the old tale of miasma. in living in and around so much filth, they didn’t see how bacteria worked, and their minds worked differently where it came to disease and scent. in leaving the baby unprotected to shortly die in the rotting fish guts and heads, she underlines her intention of abandoning him to the evil smells of fetid flesh. bad smells, they believed, was a major cause of disease, so she might as well have thrown him in the river screaming into the river as leave him under the stall, enclosed with the rotten guts, to die quietly of exposure. i think that’s why people didn’t say, “She had a baby! Someone help her!” it was the same in the book – though i always imagined her as squatting (but visually, in this film, this works better).

    …and, of course, the obvious connection with her indifference to him as a being. he wasn’t this wonderful being come to enrich her life- who knows what these children were products of. it was as matter-of-fact as the fish she cleaned. her body cleansed itself of something when the time was right. (i don’t think i need to draw from the obvious link here in another bodily function). i think, in order to live, she had to be as hard as a nail. with the other babies. she has as much mercy as a nail itself- but her world had taught her to be this way.

    it shows how merciless nature herself can be.

    it did make me smile, though. my great-gran was a fisher’s girl. (she didn’t give birth under her stall- she was married by then- but damn, those gals were hard!) i couldn’t help but think she’s not going to get far by fiddling around with those as she was- they could do hundreds in a minute! they had to!

    (I LOVE your list of films, btw. it’s fascinating!)