Matt Roush says...
Starting small, with the tragic stories of two Black women who died during or shortly after childbirth of preventable causes, this impassioned documentary expands to reveal the disproportionate maternal mortality rate for Black women as well as an alarming reliance in the medical hospital establishment for C-sections. The initial focus of Aftershock is on the fathers and families left behind after these tragedies, bonding to form a network demanding systemic change through a birth justice movement. “A Black woman having a baby is like a Black man at a traffic stop with the police,” says a woman from Tulsa, Oklahoma, where the mortality rate is twice the national average. We watch her bypass the hospital system to receive personal tender care from dulas at a local birthing center. (Aftershock also provides an eye-opening history of midwifery’s evolution to the fringes of American medicine.)