In rural Ethiopia, the staff of a health centre are fighting maternal mortality. They tirelessly encourage women to give birth at the clinic. But the reservations are great, as are the practical hurdles. How are heavily pregnant women supposed to arrive in time if the ambulance only comes after hours or not at all? Against medical advice, Hulu Ager decides to give birth to her child at home, accompanied by a traditional midwife.
With palpable familiarity, the film team captures moments of intimate communion between Hulu Ager, the birth attendants and other women. Around the edges of the central conflict, the many challenges they face in a patriarchal society become visible. In the hairdressing salon under the steam bonnet, the debates are most lively: she feels no pleasure during sex because of her circumcision, reports Welela, a medical professional. „You just have to prepare yourself,“ another customer advises her. Sometimes it helps to get drunk. For the perky hairdresser, however, it is much more certain: bad sex is a reason for divorce. The women share their wishes and needs with each other, experience solidarity and gather courage for small and large acts of departure and resistance. Men have a place here at best as extras.
Sarina Lacaf (DOK Leipzig)