Picks and Pans Review: A Healthy Baby Girl
PBS (Tues., June 17, 10 p.m. ET)
Judith Helfand lacks Steve Moore’s likability; that doesn’t mean she has less to say. In 1990, Helfand was diagnosed with cervical cancer linked to her mother’s use of the anti-miscarriage drug diethylstilbestrol (DES). After undergoing a hysterectomy at age 25, Helfand channeled her anger and sorrow into this video diary, part of the P.O.V. documentary series. Helfand’s grievance is intensely real, as is her commitment to public education concerning the legacy of DES, prescribed to millions of women before the Food and Drug Administration warned in 1971 against its use during pregnancy. But she often comes across here as self-righteous, self-dramatizing and excessively camera-conscious. Though it’s for a good cause, we can’t help squirming when Helfand presses her mother to show more emotion for the screen.