Netflix’s Weathering: Is the Short Film Based on a Real Journalist?

Directed by Megalyn Echikunwoke, Netflix’s short film ‘Weathering’ revolves around a journalist named Gemina May, who loses her baby following a miscarriage. The miscarriage affects her life severely as she struggles to cope with the aftermath of the same. As Gemina tries to pull herself together, she starts to think that someone is trying to kill her. Starring Alexis Louder as Gemina, the short film progresses through the confrontation between the journalist and the person who makes her life difficult. Since Echikunwoke’s work is realistic and relatable, one must be wondering whether the story is inspired by a true incident. Well, here’s what we can share about the same!

The Inspiration Behind Weathering

No, ‘Weathering’ is not based on a true story. The fictional short film was originally conceived by director and writer Megalyn Echikunwoke. Although Gemina and her story are fictitious, Echikunwoke used the same to depict the maternal health crises and conflicts Black women face. According to a CDC study, Black women are three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than White women, which makes the disparity in the field of health evident. Echikunwoke created the short film with this reality as the foundation of Gemina’s struggles. Despite being an adequately earning professional, she was denied the necessary care when she has been pregnant, which eventually nearly kills her as it kills her baby.

Gemina represents the group of Black women who fail to receive adequate care and services from hospitals across the country. According to Alexis Louder, the fictional short film does address one of the significant matters concerning the survival of Black women. “The fact that this project is speaking about something that has been trickling to the top of people’s minds, but it’s not at the forefront just yet – I really wanted to be a part of that conversation,” Louder told Essence. “I’ve been having conversations with my mom about it for a while. My mom is like, ‘Whenever you have my grandbabies, you’re going to Germany!’ Because she’s really concerned about the depravity between the maternal health of Black women versus other ethnic groups,” the actress added.

Louder’s mother is no different from Gemina’s mother in the short film. After the journalist’s miscarriage, her mother confronts her about going to a hospital to deliver the baby, especially when a considerable group of doctors is not committed to offering the best treatment to Black women. Echikunwoke, through her work, shows us how Black women are not heard when it comes to matters concerning their own bodies, which paves the way for tragic but avoidable consequences. In the short film, Gemina’s understanding of her body was outrightly dismissed by a health professional, who must have gaslighted her concerning her health condition as well.

‘Weathering’ is ultimately about the consequences of Gemina doubting herself. Her experiences eventually make her believe in herself and fight for her survival. It is safe to say that several women living across the world must have gone through such a phase. “Oftentimes, we’re our own worst critics. Oftentimes, we’re our greatest punishers. And so giving ourselves grace and love and care on a daily basis is definitely necessary no matter what’s going on in your life,” Louder said in the same Essence interview about the takeaway of the short film.

Although Gemina is fictional, her story is also the story of thousands and thousands of real-life Black women who fight against the demons in themselves for their survival. Through the protagonist’s miscarriage, Echikunwoke shows the challenges Black women face to become a mother in the country.

Read More: Best African American Films on Netflix