With Woman

The long-established tradition of African-American home-birth midwifery has been outlawed in the State of Illinois. At the same time, Black women suffer massively disproportionate maternal mortality in US hospital settings.

‘With Woman’ follows Star, a Black, direct-entry midwife, who has taken up the cause of providing Black women with home-births. Star guides Raven through her last month of her pregnancy, from prenatal visits to the astonishingly intimate and agonisingly perilous experience of her birth on the kitchen floor. Felony charges and being separated from her four children are at risk for Star if there is a poor outcome for mother or baby.

Through intimate observational black and white footage, the film documents an act of both defiance and radical self-empowerment by Black women—mothers and midwives—in a country so hostile to their very existence.

  • Mia Harvey
  • Mia Harvey
  • Yu-Pu Pon
  • Luke Barnfather
    Sound Designer and Composer
  • Mara Ciobra
    Colourist and Online Editor
  • Mia Harvey
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short, Student
  • Runtime:
    27 minutes 45 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 1, 2023
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - National Film & Television School
Director Biography - Mia Harvey

Mia Harvey is a British documentary director, producer, and cinematographer. She recently graduated from the National Film and Television School, where her graduation film With Woman was shortlisted for the 2023 Yugo Student BAFTA awards and 2023 Grierson Awards.

Mia's directorial work aims to explore the joys and pains of everyday human life through a racial, gendered, and social lens. Using intimate observational camera work, her films reveal the delicate, internal world of her contributors.

As a producer, she has worked on various documentaries for BBC, Channel 4, and Sky Documentaries. Her works include the BAFTA-nominated Black Power: A British Story of Resistance, which was executive produced by Sir Steve McQueen and James Rogan, and A Paedophile in My Family: Surviving Dad, which was shortlisted in two Grierson categories. She was also selected for the Sheffield Doc Fest UK Broadcast Production Talent 2021 and the Banijay UK Emerging Talent Bursary 2023.

Currently, Mia is developing her first feature documentary based on her graduation film With Woman. She won the BBC Storyville Early Development Pitch at Sheffield Doc Fest 2023 for the project. The film serves as a follow-up to her graduation film and will explore the topic in greater depth.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I was inspired to make this film after hearing my grandmother talk about the community midwifes in Barbados back in colonial times. She would tell me about the women who would deliver babies and the traditions that were passed down from generation to generation. This led me to consider how I would like to give birth and what are the risks that I could encounter in the medical

In Chicago where the film is set, Black women are eight times more likely to die in childbirth. I wanted to focus on the fight instead of the trauma. Showing how the Black community, especially Black women, have come together to fight back and improve healthcare disparities in their own way. Black female empowerment is very much at the centre of this film.