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A Walk to Beautiful (2007) — EthiopiaA Walk to Beautiful (2007) — Ethiopia

           I can all but guarantee that this 53-minute film by Nova will be one of the most inspirational movies you'll ever watch. It tells the stories of three Ethiopian women, Ayehu, Wubete, and Almaz, who suffer from obstetric fistula — a hole between either the rectum and vagina or between the bladder and vagina. It occurs during birth, due usually to obstructed labor and an undersized pelvis, and results in chronic incontinence and infection. The combination of physical suffering, psychological trauma, and social stigma is horrific. The three women make it to the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital, founded in 1974 by the gynecologists Reg and Catherine Hamlin, who went to Ethiopia in 1959. Although Catherine does some narration, and is the public "superstar" of this story (she still works there at age 87), the film does an excellent job of featuring the African surgeons, nurses, staff, and administrators. The hospital performs 30 surgeries a week, free of charge (34,000 to date), with a 93% success rate. When the women leave the hospital, they are given new clothes to symbolize their new life.

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