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Like many new parents, Hobbit Humphrey and Jake England-Johns are raising their baby with a combination of love and anxiety. However, in attempting to give their child – Anoush – the best life they can, they’ve made one unconventional choice: raising them gender-neutral until Anoush is old enough to choose their own identity. This means gender-neutral pronouns, clothes and toys of every kind and colour, and, most challenging, keeping their baby’s sex a secret from everyone, grandparents included. The UK director Louisa Rechenbach matches the couple’s gentle spirit with thoughtful filmmaking, capturing them discussing their parenting philosophy as they prepare for Anoush’s first birthday party. While serious about their decision, they are far from strident, acknowledging that there are difficulties – often in the form of ‘the discomfort of strangers’ – and recognising that, when trying to decide what’s best for a child, no parent gets it right 100 per cent of the time.
Via Girls in Film
Director: Louisa Rechenbach
An animator wonders: can you ever depict someone without making them a caricature?
Inside the unique London community built by residents to defy housing discrimination
Film and visual culture
With human help, AIs are generating a new aesthetics. The results are trippy
From manners to mud – two women recall coming of age in Victorian London
The ancient world
Why did the Romans create a massive, entirely impractical map of their empire?
Human rights and justice
The staggering cruelty of Ireland’s Church-run ‘mother and baby homes’
History of ideas
Peter Singer charts the path from Hegelian philosophy to Marxist revolution
War and peace
A peace activist’s harrowing account of nuclear war is a visceral case for disarmament
Why a journeyman boxer finds contentment in the art of losing