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Parents' Guide to


By Sabrina McFarland, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Comprehensive docu connects race and childbirth mortality.

Movie NR 2022 87 minutes
Aftershock Movie poster

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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.

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