Women choosing single motherhood are subject of new documentary

Nina Davenport and her son Jasper in front of their Brooklyn home. Credit: Bess Adler
Nina Davenport and her son Jasper in front of their Brooklyn home. Credit: Bess Adler

In a city where women often bemoan the uneven ratio of women to men — 400,000 more women, according to city data — stories like Nina Davenport’s are no doubt becoming less and less unusual.

In fact, Davenport, a Brooklyn-based single mother who decided to have a child on her own at the age of 41, scoffed at a reviewer who referred to her, in the context of a documentary she made about her experience, as “a demographic of one.”

“It’s so absurd,” she said. “I know tons of people who have done this and it’s not even necessarily from seeking them out [because of the film].”

Davenport’s documentary, “First Comes Love,” is showing at Independent Film Center and premiered on HBO on Monday, with a special screening of its sort-of prequel, “Always a Bridesmaid,” beforehand.

A career documentary filmmaker, making a movie of her experience was natural. Now, though, especially in light of some of the more vicious reviews the film has received, she’s hoping it will help other women in New York feel less afraid of facing judgment if they make the decision to have a child on their own.

The film, she said, is about “female empowerment, like a woman feeling that I don’t need a man to do this, I don’t need a man psychologically, I don’t need the validation from society, I don’t have to do the same thing my parents did.”

That sense of security and confidence didn’t come easy to her.

“It was hard-won to get to that point; I had to overcome a lot to get to the point of giving up on finding a man and having a baby of my own,” she said.

But being a New Yorker made feeling comfortable with the experience that much easier.

“I feel like the beauty of New York is anything goes,” she added. “There’s everything here and there’s so much tolerance and openness.”

Davenport gives the city a lot of positive credit with regard to her experience, brushing aside the struggle to find man who will commit (the subject of “Always a Bridesmaid”) and focusing instead on the sense of community the city affords.

“I don’t know that I could live anywhere else and feel as happy and normal being a single mother,” Davenport said. “Here I never feel judged.”

Indeed, she says, there is no such thing as a “typical” family in New York City: There are single-parent families, divorced families, families with two mothers or two fathers or grandparents.

“I value that more than anything,” she said.

See the film

The film is playing at the IFC Center at 323 Sixth Ave.

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

New statue of Penn State's Paterno set for…

By David DeKokHARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Fundraising for a new statue depicting Joe Paterno "as the man he was and not Joe the football coach"…

Local

Future Boston Alliance invites you to #RidetheLine, support…

#RidetheLine aims to show the city, the nation, and the globe our creative impact as Boston citizens.

Local

(Update) Body of missing BU grad Eric Munsell…

The dead man pulled from the water at Boston's Long Wharf Wednesday afternoon was that of missing 24-year-old Boston University alumnus Eric Munsell, Boston Police said today.

National

On newly released tape, 'Squeaky' Fromme says was…

Manson Family member Squeaky Fromme told a mental health examiner in newly released interview the "X" she carved in her forehead was meant to separate her from "the system."

Movies

Tribeca: 'Goodbye to All That' star Paul Schneider…

Paul Schneider talks about his new film "Goodbye to All That," not acting too much and how he'd rather indulge in simple pleasures than play the scene.

The Word

Taylor Swift battles paparazzi daily at Tribeca penthouse

We're entranced by these photos of poor Taylor Swift leaving her Tribeca apartment.

Movies

Tribeca: Nikki Reed on going funny for a…

"Intramural" star Nikki Reed talks about being the straight person in a broad comedy, spending time in Austin and how "Thirteen" was a "miracle."

Arts

'Becoming Cuba' at Huntington is a bit short…

Playwright Melinda Lopez freely lampoons the English language for its lack of passion in her latest work, “Becoming Cuba.” Ironically, the Huntington Theatre Company’s playwright-in-residence…

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

MLB

5 infamous pitcher ejections for cheating

Never fear Yankees fans, Michael Pineda is far from the first MLB pitcher to be thrown out of a game for cheating.

NFL

Patriot’s schedule comes up fair

Those looking for built-in excuses for the Patriots 2014-2015 season will have to look elsewhere, because their schedule came up fair. For the fourth straight…

MLB

Nava demoted, Victorino return imminent

  Red Sox outfielder Daniel Nava, who was batting a team-low .149/.240/.269, was demoted to Triple-A Pawtucket on Wednesday. "His struggles at the plate, I…

Parenting

New study: Inside the wage gap between boys…

According to a new study, there's a wage gap between boys and girls, with boys earning more allowance for less chores.

Tech

From Apple TV to Fire TV, big changes…

Apple is set to launch a new generation of it's Apple TV, which grossed over $1 billion in 2013. But competition from Amazon and Google looms.

Style

Katy Perry releases a new Claire’s collection

Katy Perry expands her empire by releasing an accessories collection at Claire's.

Style

MAC & Proenza Schouler collection unveiled

MAC Cosmetics is releasing a new collection with Proenza Schouler.