For his sophomore documentary filmmaker Jonathon Narducci is back looking at unusual family relations. His debut movie ‘Love Me’ was about old American men handing over thousands of dollars in the hope of being able to persuade young Russian girls to be their future brides We’ll confess that we ended up laughing at the film in all the wrong places.
Now with the Ghosts of Republique Narducci tells the heart-wrenching tale of a young French gay couple on their journey to become parents. This is very much a two Kleenex box film, especially if you are a member of the LGBTQ community.
It’s a story of how a disarmingly-charming married gay couple wanted to have their own family even though in the end it will mean they will have to break the Law. In theory in France same-sex couples are allowed by law to adopt children, but the reality is that no-one will facilitate that. There are militant so-called pro-family groups that make enough noise in both society and the French Parliament to ensure that the odds are stacked against us.
An alternative option of surrogacy is also not a possibility as France is one of many countries who have made this illegal. An American MD who admits that there has been no in depth study of the physiological and medical effects of surrogacy, but that didn’t stop her reeling off very negative symptoms and the danger that can be caused to both donor and child.
All this negativity however will not dent Aurelien and Nicolas’s determination, and with their own families’ support and encouragement, they hop on a plane to Las Vegas to turn their dream into a reality. This is hardy a impulsive move and as the camera trails them everywhere we see how much attention they have given to the details.
For example they had decided that there should be an egg donor and a surrogate, This way they reasoned as it would not actually be the surrogates own baby , they would be less risk of her bonding and not wanting to allow them to take the baby.
The men set about it calmly and carefully and both the Fertility Clinic and all the people involved are nothing less than first class. That all comes at a cost which sadly would make it prohibitive for less affluent couples. They chose both the egg donor and surrogate an even though this strictly a business arrangement they soon develop bonds with both women.
The actual pregnancy will not be completely smooth ……… no spoilers here …… but this is where you will use up one of the kleenex boxes. However save some tissues for when the two Dads take their daughter back to France with her new American Passport. The possibilities of her being denied entry or even worse, taken away from them at Charles De Gaulle are more than possible.
The French Government refuse to recognise surrogate children born abroad and so they are stateless. Hence they are named the Ghosts of the République.
Against a background of the far Right loudly screaming about “babies for sale’ one gay family have at least realised their dream, but until the Law is changed , their story is not complete.
We also know that the rights of the LGBTQ community are always helped by visibilty, and we hope this excellent film can be part of that
Ghosts of the République will be streaming from 11/17 on Amazon Prime, ITunes and most major platforms