Dec 4, 2023
Tia Nomore, Erika Alexander
In a perfect world all children would be born into a stable home with two loving parents. But the reality is often a long way from the story book idyll that is written. Children can be born in the right place at the wrong time or vice versa. The result is an emotional battlefield as the child's interests are prioritised by the great and good. In her feature length debut Savannah Leaf directs a compelling portrayal of a young women growing up too quickly.
Gia (Tia Nomore) is the mother of two children in care with another on the way. She is a recovering addict and enrolled on every recovery programme humanly possible. Every positive step brings her closer to getting her children back. Gia dreams of the day she can stand up in court and prove her fitness as a mother. But is still wracked by self-doubt; how can she feed another mouth when barely scraping a living as a photographer's assistant. Her social worker Miss Carmen (Erika Alexander) becomes a friend and honest broker. Could adoption be the solution to Gia's problems?
Earth mama pulls absolutely no punches in a bleak but sadly realistic snapshot of urban life. It’s a story that's been told many times before but some hit the spot more accurately than others. There is a detached almost visceral quality that really stands out. As a character Gia will ask for no favours, nor will she complain about how she got here. To her raking over the past is a waste of energy when the present has plenty to keep her busy. She is simply asking the world at large, what do I do now? As a viewer, it's easy to buy into Gia's predicament as she battles to do the right thing.
There is a natural glow of simplicity that doesn’t feel staged or constructed. It’s hugely reminiscent of a ‘fly on the wall’ documentary where the characters are facing problems that are universally understood. We see real people living real lives which gives the story an undeniable impact. The audience will feel they’re eavesdropping intimate conversations such is the authenticity portrayed on screen. Any director who can project this level of realism onto the big screen has achieved a rare feat.