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Aftershock: how to watch, trailer, and everything we know about the Sundance Film Festival winner

Individuals advocating for Black mothers in Aftershock, the documentary
(Image credit: Hulu )

Over the years, Hulu has increasingly been building its repertoire of documentaries. Just recently, the streaming service released Elon Musk’s Crash Course, which was a deep dive into the auto giant Tesla and its reporting of safety incidents and deaths, and Victoria's Secret: Angels and Demons, a discussion of some of the company's questionable connections. 

Now, Hulu has released Aftershock, a documentary that shines a necessary spotlight on a crucial issue impacting lives. 

Aftershock exposes a very real problem in the maternal health space that is significantly affecting the Black community. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (opens in new tab), Black women are dying at a substantially higher rate than their white counterparts while giving birth. This new project from Onyx Collective and ABC News seeks to link this disparity to issues such as health inequality and medical injustice. Additionally, the documentary showcases the families left in the aftermath of maternal mortalities and the activist spirit they carry with them in trying to fix this problem for future mothers. 

Here’s everything we know about Aftershock.  

How to watch Aftershock  

Aftershock is currently streaming on Hulu. The documentary first premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival before becoming available on the streaming service on July 19. For those interested in watching, you’ll want to be sure you have a Hulu subscription.  

To date, there is no official word in regards to a UK release date. However as information becomes available, we can pass it along. 

What is Aftershock about? 

Aftershock promotional poster

(Image credit: Hulu)

Hulu describes the premise of the film as the following: 

"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 for 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."

Aftershock runtime 

Aftershock has a runtime of one hour and 26 minutes.  

Aftershock reviews

The documentary currently has a Rotten Tomatoes (opens in new tab)Tomatometer score of 100%. Additionally, The New York Times (opens in new tab) says, "Aftershock is a moving ode to Black families in a society where too many forces work to tear them apart."

Aftershock trailer 

It’s one thing to know of a problem, but it’s another to have faces to attach to it. The Aftershock trailer alone is enough to pull at the heartstrings of viewers while inspiring them to call for action.  

Aftershock directors 

This project was directed by Paula Eiselt and Tonya Lewis Lee. Eiselt also serves as the film’s producer and has previously directed 93Queen, a documentary about a group of brave Hasidic women in Brooklyn that formed the first all-female volunteer ambulance corps in New York City. 

Lee, on the other hand, is a first-time director, but has previously served as a producer for the television adaption of She’s Gotta Have It and the movie The Watsons Go to Birmingham. Additionally, she is also listed as a producer for Aftershock

Terrell Smith has a diverse writing background having penned material for a wide array of clients including the federal government and Bravo television personalities.  When he’s not writing as Terrell, he’s writing under his pseudonym Tavion Scott, creating scripts for his audio drama podcasts. Terrell is a huge fan of great storytelling when it comes to television and film. Some of his favorite shows include The CrownWandaVision, Abbot Elementary and Godfather of HarlemAnd a fun fact is he's completely dialed into the TLC 90 Day Fiancé universe.