The acclaimed documentary film Aftershock, which had a festival run that included Sundance, has set its Hulu premiere for July 19. Disney's Onyx Collective and ABC News acquired the film out of Sundance, where it won U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Impact for Change.
The documentary follows "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."
Directed by Paula Eiselt and Tonya Lewis Lee, the film is executive produced by Dawn Porter, Jenny Raskin, Geralyn White Dreyfous, Patty Quillin, Jennifer and Jonathan Allan Soros, Tegan Acton, Emma Pompetti, Janet Tittiger, Davis Guggenheim and Rahdi Taylor.
The description is as follows:
In October 2019, 30-year-old Shamony Gibson tragically died after being ignored by medical providers 13 days following the birth of her son. Two months later, we began filming Shamony's surviving mother, Shawnee Benton Gibson, and bereaved partner, Omari Maynard, as they began to process what happened and figure out their new normal.
In April 2020, 26-year-old Amber Rose Isaac, died due to an emergency c-section that the family says stemmed from medical negligence. Within weeks of Amber's death, Omari reaches out to Amber's surviving partner Bruce McIntyre and a lifelong bond is formed. Together, Omari and Bruce begin the fight for justice to their partners with their families and community by their side, while caring for their children as newly single parents.
Through the film, we witness these two families become ardent activists in the maternal health space, seeking justice through legislation, medical accountability, community, and the power of art. Their work introduces us to a myriad of people including a growing brotherhood of surviving Black fathers, along with the work of midwives and physicians on the ground fighting for institutional reform. Through their collective journeys, we find ourselves on the front lines of the growing birth justice movement that is demanding systemic change within our medical system and government.
"Articles have come out about Black women dying from childbirth complications and often the narrative has been that these women have died because they're obese, they are not healthy, they don't take care of themselves. You kind of feel like they're in the world by themselves having these babies somehow on their own with no support from a partner or a family or a community,” Lewis Lee explained in an interview with Shadow and Act earlier this year. “The footage that both women created and the footage that we were able to create in partnership with them, I think really demonstrates that that narrative is not the truth that unfortunately, a lot of these women are very healthy. They're very conscious of trying to take great care of their health. They do go to prenatal appointments. But it really is a systemic problem of how they are treated. And so that footage allowed us to show that they are human beings behind this data and the statistics that people talk about.”
Check out the date announcement below:
There will also be a screening of the film and a panel during this year's American Black Film Festival in Miami.