Losing a parent is a life phase, something we're conditioned mentally and perhaps biologically to endure. Losing a child so reverses the pattern that parents grieving for children feel they've entered a strange and solitary new world. That world is the subject of a touching and informative new documentary "Motherland."
Soon after her friend Barbara lost her son, filmmaker Jennifer Steinman read a book on Africa that described the war- and AIDS-ridden nations there as "an entire continent in mourning." Barbara, Steinman realized, might feel more at home in such a place than she did in her small California town. Acting on this insight, Steinman sent Barbara and five other similarly grieving women to South Africa, where they worked as volunteers among orphaned children.