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Film Reviews 


"The film is Divine, literally, gift to humanity from earth mother goddess herself."

  Joshua Morrill

We must pay tribute to Elena for prompting us to re-examine basic features of human nature!

Dr. Michel Odent

"Birth As We Know It" is a stunning film that pulls you in, and mesmerizes you with its beauty. Rare and intelligent. Scientifically sound. Highly recommended to all future parents! It delicately observes and depicts one of nature's most private and yet miraculous events: the birth of a new human being! 

Thomas R. Verny MD, DPsych, DHL, FRCPC,

Founder/President of APPPAH

 "I would like to express what "Birth As We Know It" is:

There is Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.

There is Shakespeare's Hamlet.

There is Nadia Comaneci's - first ever - 1976 perfect score of 10.0 in Olympic gymnastics.

There is Einstein's cognitive epiphany E=MC(2).

Next to each stands Elena's documentary "Birth As We Know It".

I wish to both god and the devil I had had something to do with the making of this perfect masterpiece! To everyone, who generously contributed to the birth of this beautiful jewel, I offer eternal gratitude and congratulations. To Elena, - I simply bow (and I am not the one who bows). To everyone else – one final word: Magnificent!

Richard Roth,


This film delivers a powerful transmission of what it really takes to give birth consciously.

Tatiana Sargunas, 

Russian Spiritual Midwife, Mother of 4.


I was spellbound with 'Birth As We Know It'. I will watch it again and again for years to come.

 Stephanie Neurohr, 

Filmmaker and Mother of 7.


"I'm absolutely elated about my birthing experience and am forever grateful to Elena Tonetti-Vladimirova and her amazing film "Birth As We Know It" for instilling the confidence in me to have my baby at home, rather than in the hospital as I had been planning to do. I am 42 and it is my first baby. My doctor told me I was a "high risk" category, so a c-section was due.When I heard in the film that birthing a child could be blissful rather than painful I was very surprised to hear such a thing as the idea was completely foreign to me. I watched the whole DVD 17 times! (all 3,5 hrs of it) Watching so many beautiful women giving birth so peacefully, helped my fears to melt away. It enabled me to avoid a build up of anxiety as the due date approached and put me into a significantly relaxed frame of mind. Not only that, the notion of having my baby in the water was also completely new and totally appealing as I feel very relaxed in water.

Everything Elena brought forward in her film was well articulated in a beautiful way that rang true for me, especially the things she said about how our own birth trauma affects our self-confidence during the delivery. I believe everybody, especially those planning on having a child, would benefit greatly from seeing it. I had a beautiful homebirth with a midwife.

Simone Italia,

age 42 



Thank you so much for this WONDERFUL movie! I have already watched it twice...and am so happy to have such a wonderful movie to add to my birth resource library. I will be having my third homebirth (fifth birth) in the spring, and have found that your movie has really given me insight into birth that I had never considered before. Your dedication to this movement is phenomenal. A true blessing to MY children, and theirs! Thank you!



I recently bought the DVD Birth As We Know It.

My son has just turned a year old and I still feel that I never gave birth to him. He was simply removed from my body by c-section after a failed induction. The induction was done, basically, due to nervous midwife and doctor.Despite having trained as a doula and planning a water birth at home, I still ended up in a hospital, not being able to hold my son until 12 hours after he was born and suffering badly from post-natal depression. I hope to have more children and seeing this DVD has helped me find a starting place. I realise now that I have so much work to do on myself before i can consider another child. I need to find that belief in my body that has been so devastated by my past experience. This has been such a gift to me, and I am so thankful to find this information that I had to thank you for it.


I live in South Africa, which I'm told has the highest c-section rate in the world (around 80% of all births). It is very hard to find support for natural childbirth - from friends and family alone, never mind health professionals! I'm considered quite crazy for even considering homebirth an option.I hope once I have worked through my own issues that I will be able to give something back, hopefully by educating women in my country about just how wonderful their bodies are and that we are designed perfectly to give birth without intervention. Your film will be instrumental in my efforts. Thank you again for this wonderful gift you have given the world.

Much love and bright blessings.


from South Africa




My goodness, what a gorgeous piece of work! While the film is longer than I expected, I did not regret that fact, because it made possible more thoroughness than is customary. Whenever my attention wavered for a moment, I was brought back, again and again, by a new message and by your amazing voice and manner. I appreciate the modesty, the lack of stridency, and the gentleness of the message. In other words, you accomplished the important (but often overlooked) task of making your delivery of the message match the content. The viewer feels treated as gently as do the parents who are bringing their babies into the outside world. I often find birth films either overly romantic or overly political. "Birth As We Know It" is neither, but manages to deliver an unmistakeable and unforgettable message, all the same. I am in your debt for the chance to look at what you have made. If I may be of help relative to your film, I hope you will let me know. My best wishes for your work, Elena!

Dr. Michael Trout, 

APPPAH Vice-President




Every young woman in the world, before she even thinks of having a child, should see "Birth As We Know It"! Every woman needs to know that she has a choice between fear and joy. This film is about the happiest day in a woman's life ­ the day she gives birth. It will help her to prepare for a joyous birth, instead of a possibly wretched one and avoid the pitfalls of 'modern' medicine, which fails to recognize that birth is a normal, natural process that women have been carrying out successfully for five million years. This film will lead her toward experiencing the empowerment that a natural birth will give her, which is her birthright. It is unlikely that she will ever see as important a film again during her lifetime."

Dr. George C. Denniston, 

MPH, Retired Professor of Family Medicine, University of Washington President, Population Dynamics, Seattle WA President, Doctors Opposing Circumcision Former Associate Medical Director, Planned Parenthood Federation of America


Truly a landmark global production! It could be carried as a new class of documentaries!

Elena Tonetti-Vladimorova has cracked the egg open before our eyes. Nothing can bring female valor and compassion so vividly into our awareness. Nothing can reveal more tenderness. She shows the last vestiges of our technological age for just what it is ...efficient but mildy ruthless ... its time to make the next move to a real global civilization not just another economy. It is time to do that with the compassion deeply inherent in our natural ways of being. She has compiled the evidence in the most moving way. This is a planetary moment. One of the most cherished events in life has now been brought to the altar in the most peaceful way it can happen.

Jim Channon, 

Social Architecture


Beautifully crafted and visually stunning, Birth as we know it not only inspires us to birth consciously; it also gives us the information we need to prepare our minds and bodies for this pivotal event. Birth as we know it will be invaluable for mothers, fathers, midwives and everyone involved with birth and babies, awakening us all to the central role of birth in life-long health and wellbeing. It is amazing, one of the most powerful birth films that I have seen. Inspiring, informative, delightful, full of gems and stories to counteract this crazy world we live in...I love your narration, so natural and yet profound, I wanted to write down so much of what you said. I also found it personally profound, your understanding of life, limbic imprinting, your dancing... Simply amazing!

 Dr. Sarah J. Buckley, 

GP/family physician, Author of Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering; The wisdom and science of gentle choices in pregnancy, birth, and parenting"


Recently I had the pleasure of watching your new film "Birth As We Know It". I found it so inspiring! well intended and well documented. Actually, I have seen some of the raw, unedited footage of Tatiana and Igor Chaikovsky at the 3rd International Dolphin/Whale Conference in Hawaii in 1991. It was what inspired me to have a water birth! So, later we ourselves birthed our first son here, IN THE OCEAN!

He was born Jan. 1 , 1993. We built a raft and moored it 1/4 km off shore and sunk the raft below the water surface so i could be sitting underwater, floating in the ocean. (Tidal changes here make it difficult to sit on the shoreline to calmly give birth as the waves would be pushing and pulling constantly.) Our birth experiences, both with our first and later our second (on land) were all that your movie is about. We were fortunate to have been able to take responsibility for birthing our sons as we wanted to...naturally, consciously and sacredly. Also my pregnancies were equally embraced as an incredibly amazing time for me when I devoted as much time and attention as I possibly could to the betterment of my health - mentally, physically and spiritually... Indulging in self awareness not only for my own benefit but for the second heart that was beating inside me!!! It was my duty. What a blessed gracious gift from God...conceiving, growing and birthing babies!!! Aahhh...then raising them is a thousand times rewarding even more than the lead up pregnancy/birthing times..... Well, Elena, I just wanted you to know how much I enjoyed your video and hope it serves to inspire many many people to follow their hearts and have conscious births. Blessing to you and our eternal gratitude.

Amy Khoo, 

from Costa Rica


I spent a morning on your film and other treasures on your DVD - all bonus features, going back and forth, and taking notes. I have already begun to spread the good news of your priceless work! My congratulations and best wishes!

Dr. David Chamberlain, 

Psychologist, Author, The Mind of Your Newborn Baby 


I was at the screening at the 'Open Secret'. I was very impressed with your film! Thank you for making it! It touched me very deeply. My friend, Jonathan, was also touched deeply – he was re-experiencing his birth trauma during the screening! I told him to breathe through it rather than leave (which he was ready to do) and he said later he felt deeply healed. Did you know your film could do that? I suggest you add this to your introduction when you show the film: "This film could, in fact, re-stimulate your own birth trauma. This can be a good thing if you don't resist it. Breathe through the feelings and know you can survive them. This can be a great opening for you...." I was a trained re-birther, so I took a lot of people through re-experience of their birth trauma. It was easy for me, except that I was re-experiencing my own circumcision trauma while watching your film... OUCH!

Lion Goodman, 



Bravo, Elena!  You deserve accolades for bringing the beauty of birth, with its miraculous possibilities, to the attention of all those who have observed birth as normative abuse! Birth needs to be acknowledged as the orgasm of womanhood and honored in that light. When women are prepared, birth is an ecstatic experience, and you have documented and shown it in such a way that there can be no doubt about its potential.

Marilyn Milos



I show your film in my Birthing Body & Soul class. I have had such incredible positive feedback! I think it teaches something I have not seen anywhere else. It is such a valuable contribution to our work!

Shelley Campbell, 

Childbirth Educator


I showed 'Birth As We Know It' to my daughter-in-law, who was born by c-section because she was breech. She collapsed into hysterical sobs. As she witnessed c-section in the film, she was re-visiting her own traumatic birth.


After the crying was over she felt an enormous release. Six years of therapy in one hour!! Even though her own son was breech, she chose to deliver at home, unassisted. It was quite a remarkable healing for Donelle, and Elena said she has the same stories from women all over the world. This is an exquisite film!

Marilyn Milos, 

NOCIRC Founder and President


I just can't thank you enough for contributing your film to my library. It is amazing. Inspiring. Life changing... !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Corey Colwell-Lipson


Rich with some of the most stunning images of birth that I have seen, "Birth As We Know It" captures the peace and connection of the birth experience and beautifully demonstrates that pregnancy offers a profound opportunity for increased awareness, opening, and transformation. Imparting an important and powerful message through its bold statements and imagery, Birth As We Know It will infuse women with the inner knowing that they can create a natural and loving journey into birth. I highly recommend this film to health care providers and prospective parents alike.

Vicki Abrams, 


Director of the Childbirth Education Program

at the  Chopra Center for Wellbeing

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