Umbilical Cords is a ‘no-holds barred’ documentary exploring love and conflict between mothers and daughters.

Three young women live together in Cape Town, South Africa, with mothers from Argentina, Lesotho and Indonesia.

Living thousands of miles apart, the women stay in touch over the phone. Yet beneath the daily phone calls, lie years of conflict over religion, race, and belonging. Stepping into womanhood, a battle over identity threatens this ultimate bond. Each mother/daughter pair becomes locked in a dance around how much each woman is willing to see the other as a separate, and vulnerable, human being.

Umbilical Cords offers an intimate, unflinching exploration of what often remains unsaid between mothers and daughters, until they are forced to confront the woman at the other end of the phone.

Selected for screening at Film Africa 2012 (London), the Cambridge African Film Festival, the Durban International Film FestivalEncounters South African International Documentary Festival, Women’s Day at the Iziko South African National Museum and the Zanzibar International Film Festival.

If you would like to HOST a screening of Umbilical Cords in a community space, please get in touch at

Collaboration with TransplantInformers to spread awareness of donor recruitment for umbilical cord stem cells

Umbilical Cords facebook page

A film by Sarah Ping Nie Jones

Co-produced with Jean Meeran of Team Tarbaby

Including music by Felix Laband

Made with the support of the National Film and Video Foundation of South Africa

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