Jun 14, 2023 - News

Bentonville Film Festival highlights sorrowful statistic

Danyelle Musselman; Photo: Worth Sparkman/Axios

Danyelle Musselman, married to Arkansas Razorbacks basketball head coach Eric Musselman, had a stroke in 2009 when she was pregnant.

  • It took three doctors and a specialist to diagnose the event.

What's happening: Mussleman shared her experience — and her gratitude for having resources many women don't — at the opening event of the ninth annual Bentonville Film Festival (BFF) Tuesday.

Why it matters: Arkansas' maternal mortality rate, the number of deaths per 100,000 people, was the worst in the U.S. in 2020.

  • The movie highlights the struggles of pregnancy and postpartum of several women in rural Arkansas.
  • The state had 40.4 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, compared to 20.4 nationwide, between 2018 and 2020, the most recent data available.

Threat level: Before Roe v. Wade was overturned, women in the U.S. were already more likely to die during or after pregnancy than anywhere else in the developed world.

What to watch: The BFF Foundation, which works to elevate female, non-binary, LGBTQIA+, and other marginalized voices in entertainment and media, is hosting the film festival through Sunday.

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