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Savanah Leafs's Earth Mama: Among 2023's Best Films

2023 December 7

Savanah Leaf's 'Earth Mama' has garnered recognition on the best-of 2023 lists from renowned publications such as The New Yorker, IndieWire, and Vanity Fair.

The New Yorker: Savanah Leaf’s début feature, the drama of a young woman’s fervent efforts to regain custody of her children and to maintain a bond with her newborn, offers some of the most expressive closeups in recent movies, along with a sharply detailed analysis of bureaucratic obstacles to the legal unity of families that Black women face.

IndieWire: Learn the names Savanah Leaf, first-time feature filmmaker, and Tia Nomore, first-time feature actress, right now, because their debut film “Earth Mama” is a shimmering stunner. A former Olympic volleyball athlete, Leaf has a canny eye for locating the subversion and beauty within a welfare-system drama about a single mother fighting for her life and children. What sounds, on paper, like a challenging sit is actually a wondrous 97-minute feature, whose director and star are obviously poised for greatness.

Vanity Fair: Leaf has not made some gritty, exploitative movie that makes a novelty of Gia’s circumstances; Earth Mama is instead carefully observed and pitched in a credible timbre. Leaf has made an empathetic film about choice, which Gia still possesses despite being denied so much else.