Savannah Leaf’s ‘Earth Mama’ anvils viewers into thought-provoking Black women and single mothers

Savannah Leaf  director, symbolism is constantly woven in her debut film, “Earth Mama,” which begins with her thoughts on “black women are like the center of our universe and how powerful it holds.”

Leaf says she thinks “a lot about ancestry and the trauma a person can go through in their lineage.” She leans towards duality as she shows impulse and tries to overcome the wounds of her generation, while acknowledging the beauty and strength preserved in her ancestral line.

“Earth Mama” anvils viewers in this thought-provoking line of metaphor as it reveals the struggles its protagonist faces—a young, single, pregnant black mother named Gia, who struggles to regain custody of her two adopted children while struggling with limited resources.


Grammy Award-nominated director and former Olympic athlete says much of imagines in the film revolves around the umbilical cord and the special bond between a mother and her child. She also incorporated the dense forests surrounding the film’s Northern California setting to promote this idea of ​​connecting through underground tree roots.

“[I’m] thinking about tree roots. and the trees and the way the Bay Area is surrounded by trees has been around for generations and carries a lot of weight,” she said. “They exist as a group, as a community, underground, they really communicate through their roots.

The movie A24 is an extended sequel to the short documentary series. Leaf’s collaboration with actor Taylor Russell, who is best known for starring alongside Timothée Chalamet in “Bones and All.” Russell and Leaf’s short documentary “The Heart Still Hums” follows five mothers fighting for their children, while battling homelessness, drug addiction and family neglect.

She said she chose to continue the story through a fictional story because she “doesn’t want to interfere in anyone’s personal life”, especially when it comes to running the foster care system.

Interviews held on Friday, 23 June 2023.

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