AFTERSHOCK – Review by Martha K Baker

The searing documentary, Aftershock,” addresses the maternal health crisis suffered by Black women in the United States. The title refers to the horrors that follow a tsunami. St. Louisan Davis Guggenheim, who also directed An Inconvenient Truth, executive produced Aftershock/. In the angry, righteous hands of the directors, Tonya Lewis Lee and Paula Eiselt, Aftershock is compelling.

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AFTERSHOCK (SXSW 2022) – Review by Valerie Kalfrin

Aftershock takes viewers through an abbreviated history of gynecology, with racism intrinsic in examinations of and procedures on black slaves, and reveals astonishing statistics. Nationwide, C-sections have grown from about 6% in 1970 to 32% in 2019. Black mothers’ mortality rates likewise have grown, doubling from 22% in 1995 to 44% in 2019. Part of the problem is the industrialization of medicine—it’s quicker to perform a Cesarean section than a vaginal delivery but also more lucrative for hospitals, which can receive a greater insurance payout for this surgery, the film notes.

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AFTERSHOCK (Sundance FF 2022) – Review by Leslie Combemale

There’s an epidemic that has been raging way longer than the COVID pandemic. It’s the maternal mortality rate of Black women in this country. The statement in co-directors Paula Eiselt and Tonya Lewis Lee’s new documentary Aftershock by Black mother-to-be Felicia Ellis says it all. “A Black woman having a baby is like a Black man at a traffic stop with the police.”

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