Julia is an atheist, while her mother a devout Catholic doctor. Julia undergoes IVF treatment, but the decision is met with strong disapproval from her mother, who condemns the ‘unnatural’ nature of the scientific intervention in divinely ordained procreation even after Julia gives birth to twin sons. The film is divided in three chapters (the three conversations) and each conversation corresponds to the year in which it was recorded, from 2013 to 2015.
The mother-daughter’s debates on the morality of IVF take place through humdrum circumstances: over tea/coffee, when the doctor-mother is on a short break in between two patients, and when the mother and the daughter decide to bake together. The lack of background music further compounds the realism of the narrative. Its absence morphs into a heavy silence and is most pronounced when Julia laments that she is facing a brick wall instead of a mother to whom she is desperately trying to convey that her twins complete her. In the silent moments when her mother obtusely stares at her, Julia’s agony is poignant, for it is a deep-seated conflict in the human mind to bring the other person to your side without alienating them. And indeed, Julia’s mother seeks the same — she disapproves but never disowns. When they do arrive at a compromise — perhaps out of love, or out of exhaustion — it becomes reflective of their maturity. Their roles change from mother-daughter to grandmother-mother when we get to see the twins, and it is perfectly timed with the baking scene, which spurted a joke or two about bun in the oven, thus retaining the emphasis on the nature of birth.