A Black expecting woman, now on her second pregnancy, pushes through a monotonous day after having made an impossible delivery decision in hopes of preventing her second stillbirth.

Director’s Vision for ‘Expecting’

SUBJECT: I became aware of inequality in maternal health for non-white and marginalized women several years ago. At the time, It was such an infuriating issue not only because of the associated sadness and hurtfulness, but because this was a historic problem that started in 1619 when Black women were devalued and dehumanized yet the issue was still being regarded as a mystery. I become interested in the subject as a short film story after a family friend experienced a related tragedy. Our friend, a Black woman who at the time was 7 months into her second pregnancy, her first pregnancy was a miscarriage, had confided her pregnancy fears and guilt that she had been feeling to my wife. From that viewpoint, I had a way to tell a story that got the point across without dwelling on the tragedy.

STYLE: I had recently read Robert Bresson’s “Notes on the Cinematograph” and was enthusiastic about his philosophy and possibly employing some of his concepts. Surprisingly I intended for the protagonist to recite a monologue via voice over and it wasn’t until I got into the sound design — it was the designer’s recommendation — that I drop the voice-over and have a “quiet” film. Coincidentally, silence just so happens to be a recurring theme in Bresson’s theories. Further influences include the gritty immersive portraits of Andrea Arnold and the vivid camera work of Julián Hernádez. That said I look forward to developing a style of my own. I am very proud of this film and I hope viewers will be entertained and informed.