July 31, 2004
In contrast to the recent spate of gay parent documentaries Paternal Instinct is a fascinating and absorbing insight into the breeding process. We follow two gay men in their search for a suitable surrogate mother, a Wiccan from Maine, and then the agonizing three year long process of trying to get her pregnant. There is the anguish as they discover the impotent link in the fathering chain, the comedy of the repetitive conception rituals and the ecstasy of the birth of their child. With unfettered access to the participants, Oscar-nominated filmmaker Murray Nossel charts every step, and the camera never flinches. Whether you're into the whole parenting thing or not, the sheer humanity of this piece makes it totally absorbing.