Money can’t buy happiness unless it’s a bouncing bundle of joy. Hidden smiles, yearning hearts, wrapped in stigma and shame, Hollow is an intimate look into the experiences of 6 black women struggling with infertility. Hollow is a 67-minute documentary film about the throes of infertility as a black woman, and its impact on relationships, finances, and overall health.
African Americans have long been impacted by health inequities and disparities. For women, the reproductive injustices are compounded from maternal mortality to family planning. Infertility affects at least 12 percent of all women up to the age of 44, and studies suggest Black women may be almost twice as likely to experience infertility as white women. Yet only about 8 percent of Black women between the ages of 25 and 44 seek medical help to get pregnant, compared to 15 percent of white women for a myriad of reasons with the financial burden being the biggest barrier. The average cost for one in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle is $12,000. Basic IVF can be as much as $15,000 or maybe as low as $10,000. It's rarely lower than that. These numbers do not include the cost of medications, which may be as low as $1,500 or as high as $3,000 per cycle. In addition stigma, shame and isolation are contributing factors that prevent women from pursuing attempts at motherhood via IVF.
While high profile women such as Michelle Obama and Gabrielle Union have shared their stories of impaired fertility, it has done little to ease the barriers. Through an insightful look at infertility, Hollow will shed much needed light on the barriers and disparities faced by black women throughout the reproductive life span. Ultimately, the film will provoke much needed dialogue in and out of familiar spaces to not only support black women by reducing shame and stigma but sure them up to be advocates for access to care and treatment.