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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Health is a fundamental human right. We need to create equal care protocols to benefit all. Kids and teens can consider health career options.
Positive Role Models
Shawnee Benton-Gibson, a licensed clinician who engages in reproductive justice work, and Omari Maynard, an artist and math teacher, are NYC activists who bring nationwide awareness to epidemic of maternal mortality in Black communities. Neel Shah, M.D., is a Harvard professor of obstetrics and gynecology who teaches aspiring physicians about maternal health and tries to educate students about BIPOC birth equity. Helena Grant, director of midwifery at Woodhull Medical Center, mentors midwife students and shares history about Black women in U.S. health care system. Carlina Rivera, chair of the committee on hospitals, leads sessions at the NYC Council Hearing on Maternal Health. TV and print journalists report about maternal health stories in BIPOC communities.
References and images include BIPOC and White men and women health care and government professionals from past and present, as well as diverse adults and kids from rural and urban U.S. communities.
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Violence & Scariness
References and images include abortion, death, incarceration, injection of a needle, removal of staples from a Cesarean or C-section procedure, blood clots, and treatment of enslaved Black women in the United States.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
References and images include birth of a baby, frontal nudity of a woman, breastfeeding, out-of-wedlock pregnancy, and Cesarean/C-section birth.
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Swear words include "damn" and "s--t." Slur words include "baby daddy" and claims that Black women are often used as "guinea pigs" in health care systems and experimental science studies.
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Products & Purchases
References and images include camera equipment, desktops, laptops, smartphones, apparel with logos and messages, and social media websites.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
References and images include prescribed and recreational drugs and smoking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Aftershock is a documentary about the high rate of maternal mortality among African American women in U.S. urban and rural communities. References and images include the treatment of enslaved Black women in the United States, abortion, birth of a baby, frontal nudity of a woman, breastfeeding, out-of-wedlock pregnancy, a Cesarean or C-section birth and removal of staples from the procedure, death, incarceration, and injection of a needle. Swear words include "damn" and "s--t." Slur words include "baby daddy" and allegations that Black women are often used as "guinea pigs" in experimental scientific studies. Featured positive messages include the idea that health is a fundamental human right and we as a society should create equal care benefits for all. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This is a timely and concise film about the significant numbers of deaths due to childbirth among African American women. Aftershock alleges that the situation may be the result of systemic racism in the U.S. health care system. "Well-intended people could be doing racist things," says Neel Shah, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Harvard. And, notes the doctor, when Black people do express concern about something involving their health "they are heard less."
Heartache is especially felt by Renita Isaac, the mom of Amber Rose. Renita is a veteran employee at a Bronx, New York, hospital. It's the same location where her daughter was a patient and had hopes to write a tell-all about the reported "incompetent" doctors she dealt with before dying. "Amber would have been a wonderful mother," says Renita. "She was working on her master's. She wanted to be an art therapist. She started teaching and she loved these kids." Amber's partner, Bruce McIntrye, a devoted dad to their child, conveys that "I still feel like somebody's got their foot in my throat" because of the loss, but maintains that it's important for the "need to keep talking until they're hearing us." Aftershock may offer teens and other viewers plenty to discuss about the important topic of adequate and equal women's health care.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.