A film by Rashaad Ernesto Green
Human Rights, United States (2008) | 15 mins
Words by Charlotte Daraio
A play on words, Premature not only depicts an unexpected and early childbirth, but the adolescence of a juvenile mother. Premature’s protagonist, Trisha, is pre-mature: too young to foresee the repercussions of her newfound pregnancy and too young to understand the implications of being a woman—specifically, a working woman in an intolerant society.
Living in a low socioeconomic neighbourhood, Trisha tells her young mother that she ‘doesn’t understand’ what she’s going through. This comment and it’s rebuttal provokes a glimpse into the vicious cycle of poverty that Trisha doesn’t yet comprehend.
Trisha initially sees her pregnancy with starry, naive eyes: she cuddles a doll as she calls her boyfriend and tells him the news, but is later shocked when he rejects her and her unborn child. This spirals Trisha into desperation; a chain link fence casts shadows over her face at the beginning and end of the film to quite literally represents her entrapment. She’s fenced in, out of options, and feels forced into doing unimaginable things that wealthier, educated, and supported women wouldn’t even dream to consider.
Premature is a harrowing short fiction film that feels eerily like a documentary. It’s handheld shots and realistic acting style nearly too-perfectly encapsulate the helplessness of its protagonist.
It’s a harrowing depiction of innocence lost and of multiple lives forever affected.