"Oh my luck! I'll lose my life... Save me, please God save my life...", a young patient in a rural hospital in Ethiopia whimpers. Her fear is very real in a country where 1 in 27 women die in childbirth-related deaths. "Is my baby alive?" She is scared, in pain and tired after labouring for 24 hours at home. Carried on a wooden stretcher for the four-hour trek to the hospital, when she finally arrives, her baby is dead. Lack of education or investment in healthcare mean that Third World countries have an average maternal mortality rate of 1 in 40 women. In contrast, in the USA it is closer to 1 in 5,000. Behind the statistics there are some incredible people who are taking it upon themselves to try to change this terrible plight. In Cambodia a woman in need of a caesarian section cannot afford the bus to the hospital. Another dies because her placenta does not deliver; she could not reach the hospital because there was no bridge. Local health officer Goitom asks his patient how her first child died. "Like this one" she replies, staring blankly, visibly crushed by the death of her second child. She lives four hours by foot from the hospital. Time is everything; if it had been possible for her to come earlier, her baby could have been saved. If she had come later, she almost certainly would be dead. "When a mother survives you feel great, delighted. But I think it's not enough. A single person can't solve all these problems." Goitom is frustrated, and with pregnancy and childbirth killing more people than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined, rightly so. As this moving doc explores the unheard stories of three ordinary people struggling to diminish these unnecessary and tragic deaths, it is clear that what they lack in resources and formal training they make up for in bravery and determination. The result is intimate and emotional; a tribute to courageous self-sacrifice and a cry for help.

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Ratings and Reviews

96% TOMATOMETER

  • Average 7.8/10
  • Fresh 66
  • Rotten 3

Critics Consensus:

Information

Studio
Journeyman Pictures
Genre
Documentary
Released
Copyright
© 2012 SISTER Films, LLC

Languages

Primary
English (United States) (Stereo, Dolby 5.1)

Accessibility

CC
Closed captions refer to subtitles in the available language with addition of relevant nondialogue information.

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