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03/04/2017 2:00 pm

The tremendous anxieties that underlie struggles with fertility and the decision to seek medical intervention are given an inquisitive, empathetic voice in Oscar-nominated director Amanda Micheli’s new documentary. Profiling contestants in an annual video contest to receive free in-vitro fertilization treatments—which can cost as much as $20,000 and which have a success rate average of 30%—Micheli uncovers a peculiar world in which women’s desperation to conceive is regarded as material for a reality show. But the heart of Vegas Baby lies in Micheli’s interactions with the contest’s finalists, who speak with affecting openness about their dreams, disappointments and diverse reasons for wanting children to begin with.

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