Four Born Every Second

Radio Times
Review by:
Jane Rackham

If you give birth in Sierra Leone there’s a one in eight chance you’ll die in the process. If you’re in Cambodia, your baby’s more likely to grow up malnourished than get an education. Children born in the US have a life expectancy of 78 years, but a one in three chance of becoming obese. So where you are born determines a great deal about your fate.

Brian Hill’s disturbing film gives us a glimpse into the birth experiences of women around the world. For some it’s joyful, but for others it’s bloody, brutal or even fatal, for the mother or the child or both.

There are stories from closer to home, too, including that of single mum Lisa (pictured left) who is reluctant to be a “stereotypical mum on benefits”; and Starr, whose kids are among the 1.6 million homeless children now living in the US.

About this programme

Documentary putting the spotlight on birth and infant mortality around the world, revealing how the circumstances - and country - of each baby's delivery will determine its life story. Film-maker Brian Hill travels from the UK to Sierra Leone, Cambodia and America, learning about each country's infant mortality rate, meeting pregnant women and finding out how mothers living on the poverty line cope. The film provides a poignant picture of the lottery of childbirth across the globe.

Cast and crew


Brian Hill
Series Editor
Nick Fraser