USIA Film Festival Movie – The Parenting Proposition

Film Festival

The Parenting Proposition

About the film

This short documentary asks the question “why would anyone want to be a parent?”. A series interviews with current and prospective parents provides insight into how parenting not only cares for a child, but allows for personal growth of the parent, and a potential positive impact on the world.

Perhaps one of the greatest manifestations of love and care is the nurturing of a child by their parent(s). However, the role of parenting comes at great personal, emotional and financial sacrifice… a lifelong proposition which is demanding on one’s time, energy and resources. This raises the question, why would anyone accept such a proposition? Why would anyone want to be a parent? Further, when one considers the world in which we are living — an increasingly challenging and at times hostile environment with climate change, gun violence, bullying, social and political unrest – one can only wonder why anyone would want to bring new life into the world.

Through a series of interviews with current and prospective parents, we explore these issues – and ask the question “what were they thinking?”. What emerges in this short documentary are several key elements of caring:

1. The first is caring for the child – the concept of the joy that comes from nurturing a new life, giving them an opportunity to grow and flourish.
2. The second is care for the family – the idea that parenting allows for the parents’ own enrichment, as they learn and grow together with their child, and engage in shared experiences.
3. Perhaps most notably is the third element of caring, which is care for the world. Parents posited the concept that just because the world is challenging, is not a reason not to have children. Rather, they offer the perspective that it is only with the fresh outlook with which young people view the world that meaningful change can be made.

Children are part of the evolution of life, and parenting remains a cornerstone of the perpetual care that allows our species to propagate, with imbibed optimism for a better tomorrow. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition… this is to have succeeded”. And perhaps the proposition of parenthood and the care associated with is, allow one to do just that.

About the artist

SOLO – Anees Chagpar (52)

This is my first film — at the request of our local council President who encouraged submissions to Ismaili Arts. I’ve always enjoyed watching documentaries with data, insightful interviews and probing questions that allow one to question the world around us, and gain novel perspectives on various issues.