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A Short List of Films on Maternal Health in Honor of International Women's Day 2011

A Short List of Films on Maternal Health in Honor of International Women's Day 2011

The news that [Al Jazeera English](http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/birthrights/) is launching a set of eight short films on maternal health called "Birthrights" got us thinking about all of the recent films on maternal health in the last four years. We're focusing mainly on feature length films rather than the strictly educational or PSA-type films. Tell us what we're missing and which films inspired you the most.

*[Motherland Afghanistan](http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/motherlandafghanistan/) Shown on Independent Lens. Writer/director Sedika Mojadidi follows her father, Dr. Qudrat Mojadidi, into the chaotic reality of Afghanistan’s crippled health care system

*[Guerilla Midwife](http://www.facebook.com/pages/Guerrilla-Midwife/143328608233?sk=info). 2009. Starring Robin Lim in her work as a midwife in the Indonesian archipelago. Skwatta Camp Productions.

*[The Edge of Joy](http://www.chrisawards.org/films/the-edge-of-joy-020111-studio-35-columbus-oh/) a documentary that follows an ensemble cast of Nigerian doctors, midwives and families to the frontlines of maternal care. Inside a maternity ward, the film chronicles distressed labors, deaths, and miraculous survival. Nigeria. 2011.

*[Dead Mums Don't Cry](http://www.bullfrogfilms.com/catalog/dmdc.html). Called by Deborah Maine the best film she's seen on maternal mortality this follows the story of a midwife in Chad.

*[No Woman No Cry](http://everymothercounts.org/film) By Christy Turlington Burns. Tanzania, Guatemala, Bangladesh, and the United States are profiled in this film.

*[A Walk to Beautiful](http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/body/a-walk-to-beautiful.html). A film by Mary Olive Smith was the first feature film to cover the silent epidemic of obstetric fistula in rural and impoverished regions. (Ethiopia).

*[Love, Labor, Loss](http://governessfilms.com/fistula/index2.html) A film by Lisa Russell on obstetric fistula in Niger.

*[Not Yet Rain](http://www.ipas.org/en/What-You-Can-Do/Learn-Why-It-Matters/Not-Yet-Rain.aspx) Unsafe Abortion in Ethiopia. A film by Lisa Russell.

*Wide Angle: PBS film on training midwives in Mozambique

The Al Jazeera Series is comprised of the following films and four more:

The Mountain Midwives of Vietnam: Nick Ahlmark
The Risk of Choice Betsy Kulman
Right to Life in Guatemala Greg Brosnan
Hard Labor in Hungary Julie Heathcote

And the White Ribbon Alliance has more than ten short films including the following:

*[Avec Nous](http://www.whiteribbonalliance.org/index.cfm/media/avec-nous/) about Burkina Faso

*And a very moving summary of the issue in [this short film](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASMGAAtiElg)

Given the power of film, watching films specific to Burkina Faso and to Vietnam and to Ethiopia, you can't help but wonder if every country should have its own film about maternal health, no matter how short. It's so easy to distance yourself from one setting.. it would be harder for decision-makers to turn away from a film by women about women in their own countries.

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