As "Aftershock" (2022 release; 89 min) opens, we see footage of Shamony, whom we learn died 4 months ago from complications after a C section delivery, and then repeated incorrect diagnoses by the hospital. Her partner Amari now carries on alone, with a young child and a new born to take care of. Then we meet Bruno's whose partner Amber Rose also dies during child birth delivered via C section. Amari and Bruno eventually meet up and decide to fight back...
Couple of comments: this documentary is co=produced and co-directed by Paula Eiseil and Tonya Lewis Lee. Here they shine the spotlight on the atrocious and frankly intolerable facts that women in America die in childbirth more than anywhere else in the industrialized world. And the stats are even worse for black women. The co-directors shows us the stats also on how in the 1970s childbirth by C section was truly the exception (5%), and over the following decades, it has become more and more prevalent, and easy/lazy way out for doctors and hospitals (now 1/3 of all child births are via C section), but along the way causing the death rate at child birth to go up. Also striking is that the US is the only country in the industrial world where so very few midwives (rather than doctors) deliver babies. The film makers document the grieving families and how they try to do something about it. It all makes for interesting but surely also frustrating viewing (not because that the documentary is not good of course).
"Aftershock" premiered at this year's Sundance film festival to immediate acclaim, and the film is currently rated 100% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes for a reason. The movie is now streaming on Hulu, where I caught it the other night. If you have any interest in the US health care system in general, and why child birth death care is so insanely inadequate, I'd readily suggest you check this out, and draw your own conclusion.
Action / Documentary
Action / Documentary
Following the deaths of two young women due to childbirth complications, two bereaved families galvanize activists, birth-workers and physicians to reckon with one of the most pressing American crises today: the US maternal health crisis.
July 21, 2022 at 08:17 PM