Directed by Megalyn Echikunwoke, the Netflix short film, “Weathering,” takes us inside the troubled mind of a mother who recently lost her child and was facing all sorts of mental issues apart from the excruciating physical pain she was in. Alexis Louder brilliantly plays the protagonist, Gemina, and she portrays the fears, vulnerabilities, anxiety, gloom, and pain of a woman stuck in probably the most difficult situation of her life. As if the loss of a child was not enough, the people around Gemina made things even worse for her. Gemina stood alone against the predators, the misogynists, and even her own self. So, let’s find out what Megalyn Echikunwoke wants to say through her short film and if Gemina is able to weather the bad days and come out on the other end victorious.
Gemina Loses Her Baby.
Gemina could feel it on the inside that there was something wrong with her when she was being taken inside the operation theater for her delivery. She was told by the doctors to stay calm and breathe, as it was normal to feel such discomfort during labor. Gemina passed out, and when she woke up, the doctors told her that she had lost a lot of blood during the operation and that they were only able to save her and not the baby. Gemina kept murmuring that she wanted her baby, but once again, she lost consciousness and meandered in the world of her dreams, where she was constantly seeing her fears getting personified and taking physical shape and form. In her dreams, she saw a dark room, and she could hear the cries of her baby coming from the other end. Everything seemed so real that Gemina couldn’t understand if it was actually happening with her or it was merely the figment of her imagination. She was writhing in pain, and she knew that the bleeding might ease up in a few weeks, as the doctors were telling her, but the pain of losing her baby would stay with her forever. Gemina felt hollow from within, and she had no clue how she would be able to cope with her grief. She felt like she was stranded in a dark and dingy alley, and she was slowly weathering and not being able to figure out her way out of it.
Gemina decided that she would have to lift her spirits and find a way out of the bottomless shaft, but the agony, the frustration, and the heartache just didn’t seem to leave her side. She knew she had to learn to live with her affliction, but it just seemed too hard, and no matter how hard she tried to climb the mountain, she was pushed time and again back to ground level, where she had to start all over again.
Gemina Meets Her Mother
Gemina’s mother, Serena, comes to see her, and though, on the surface, she felt like this overly optimistic person who had come to uplift the spirits of her daughter, her words did cause a lot of damage, and somewhere they forced Gemina to relive the trauma once again. Gemina clearly wanted to get past the incident and come back to leading a normal life, but her mother reminded her that she had lost her baby and that all of that shouldn’t have happened. Somewhere in the entire conversation between the mother and daughter, it came out that if Gemina had listened to her and done things her way, then nothing of the sort would have ever happened. She was quick to remind Gemina that she had committed a grave mistake by going to the hospital and that she should have stayed at home and used the services of a midwife to deliver the baby.
Serena might have said the same things so many times in the past that Gemina knew what she was going to say and she mimicked her patent sentences even before she said it. Serena, instead of trying to empathize with her daughter’s situation, had an “I told you what to do” tone that clearly didn’t help the cause. Shawn’s name came up in the conversation multiple times, and we came to know that he was Gemina’s partner and had run away from his responsibilities and left Gemina’s side when she most needed him. Serena told Gemina that she was a remarkable girl, but it felt like she was placing the burden of her own expectations on her shoulders, and somewhere she wanted her to live her life like she wanted her to.
A Woman Stuck In A Misogynistic Society
The conversation that Gemina had with her doctor clearly proved that misogyny and the patriarchy had a huge role to play in her suffering. The doctor was probably too proud to accept his negligence, especially in front of a woman, though Gemina kept asking him why he didn’t listen to her. Gemina had told the doctor that she wasn’t feeling well and that something was clearly wrong with her, but he didn’t pay any attention to it. Gemina was a woman, and that too a woman of color, and accepting his own fault in front of such a patient was against his honor. He didn’t even have the courtesy of taking her name properly, and though he could have taken the defense that he didn’t do it on purpose, his condescending tone was proof of the fact that he didn’t consider her worthy enough of that respect.
Meanwhile, Gemina’s mind kept playing tricks on her, and the cries of her baby kept haunting her in her dreams. There was a part of her that felt that she was responsible for the death of her baby, and at times she saw herself as this evil entity that was not fit to be a mother. Gemina got a call from her friend, James, who pretended to be worried about her but, in reality, just wanted to take advantage of her. He came to her home and threw big words about how he would be there for her no matter what, but as soon as Gemina put her guard down, he tried to make a lewd move, and when she resisted, he stomped out of her house, calling her mentally unfit.
‘Weathering’ Ending Explained: Is Gemina Able To Shed Her Fears?
Gemina was getting deeper into the swamp, and she was on the verge of surrendering to her circumstances. The horrifying dreams kept haunting her, and she felt that she would lose her mind. She was not able to concentrate on her work no matter how hard she tried, and she had reached her breaking point, where the thought that she could not go through this ordeal anymore crossed her mind several times. Gemina felt she was drowning in her misery and would never be able to make it ashore. But then something unprecedented happened, and she realized that she couldn’t stop the world from thinking a certain way, but she herself couldn’t become the cause of her own weathering.
Towards the end of “Weathering” Gemina pulled herself up and decided that she wouldn’t let the flawed perceptions, prejudice, and inequality dictate her terms. She decided to regain control of her life, and finally, she figured out what her new article would be about. She started writing her article, which was titled “What will it take to protect black women?” and she was determined not to go down without putting up a fight. Gemina had realized that there would be days when she would feel down and out, but giving up meant that she agreed with all the naysayers who didn’t believe that she was worthy of anything. Life was a battle, and Gemina was not ready to cave in without turning the tides in her favor.