A Walk to Beautiful (2008)
This documentary follows the inspiring stories of five Ethiopian women who suffer from devastating childbirth injuries. Rejected by their husbands and ostracized by their communities, these women are left to spend the rest of their lives in loneliness and shame. Instead they make the long and arduous journey to Fistula Hospital in Addis Abba where they reclaim their lost dignity. The trials they endure--and their attempts to rebuild their lives--tell a universal story of hope, courage, and transformation. … More
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Critic Reviews for A Walk to Beautiful
Five young Ethiopian women doomed to social ostracism and physical misery because of 'obstetric fistulas' walk miles to get treatment and reclaim their lives, and in doing so, march straight into our hearts.
... a beautiful and uplifting film...[and] Ethiopia has never appeared more beautiful than in this film's cinematography by Smith, Tony Hardmon and Jerry Risius.
A most righteous cause, but one has to wonder if this is a documentary film, or an infomercial for the subject hospital
Will leave you speechless two times over -- first with despair, then with joy.
The filmmakers' restraint is admirable in this era of overheated editorializing.
This is the real life that young African natives face, emotionally told by 5 young women, devastated and isolated by obstetric fistula, and their hopeful search for a cure.
[Director Mary Olive] Smith makes no pretense of keeping a dispassionate distance from her subject: Her film is an unabashed call to action that shines a spotlight on a problem whose intimate medical nature relegated it to the shadows.
A complex and quietly devastating indictment of chauvinist societies that see women as lovers, mothers and servants, and treat anyone who canā(TM)t fulfill those roles as a nonperson.
At times, it becomes reminiscent of the well-meaning but racist documentaries of the distant past and suffers from an unintentionally patronizing Nanook of the North syndrome.
Walk to Beautiful is a tender, evocative documentary...not an enraged film, it's one of optimism and education.
An enlightening documentary about a serious problem in Ethiopia suffered by poor women who have had obstructed pregnancies.
Had it stuck with more of the community on which it was based, and less on how generous a few foreign doctors are, it would be easier to remember and root for the individual women by their names.
Fernando Meirelles take note: an honest and unvarnished portrayal of your subject, no matter the intended audience, is the most optimal path toward enlightenment and empathy.
Smith's film is a pure, unabashed humanitarian call to action, but her subjects are eloquent and her cause unimpeachable.
Lushly photographed and carried along by a spirited score featuring both Ethiopian and Western music, but the film's most striking element proves to be the women at its center.
Mary Olive Smith and Amy Bucher feel no need to overlay this health-care calamity with pious outrage.
If pic's B.O. potential seems slight, the same can't be said of the film's impact on awareness of Africa, altruism and the lifelong misery caused by reparable medical conditions in areas where the closest road can mean a three-day hike.
Audience Reviews for A Walk to Beautiful
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