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Midwives directed by Snow Hnin El Hlaing trailer and release date
Midwives directed by Snow Hnin El Hlaing

The award-winning Myanmar documentary, Midwives, follows two midwives, one Buddhist and one Muslim, defy strict ethnic divisions to work side by side in a makeshift clinic in western Myanmar, providing medical services to the Rohingya of Rakhine State. Over five years we witness their struggles, hopes and dreams amidst an environment of ever-increasing chaos and violence.

The film, the directorial debut of Snow Hnin El Hlaing, won the 2022 Sundance World Cinema Documentary, Excellence Verité Filmmaking; and opens on Friday, November 11, 2022 in Los Angeles exclusively at the Laemmle Glendale Theatre and its broadcast and streaming will begin on November 21 on PBS POV.

Hla and Nyo Nyo live in a country torn by conflict. Hla is a Buddhist and the owner of a makeshift medical clinic in western Myanmar, where the Rohingya (a Muslim minority community) are persecuted and denied basic rights. Nyo Nyo is a Muslim and an apprentice midwife who acts as an assistant and translator at the clinic. Her family has lived in the area for generations, yet they are still considered intruders. Encouraged and challenged by Hla, who risks her own safety daily by helping Muslim patients, Nyo Nyo is determined to become a steady health care provider for her community.

Snow Hnin Ei Hlaing’s remarkable feature debut was filmed over five turbulent years in a country that has long been exoticized and misunderstood. The filmmaker’s gentle, impartial gaze grants unique access to these courageous women who unite to bring forth life. Filled with love, empathy, and hope, Midwives offers a rare insight into the complex reality of Myanmar and its people.

Snow risked everything to witness what has happened in Mynmar in the last couple of years. She is also the first filmmaker from Myanmar to premiere a film in competition at Sundance. The film also screened at the Sundance Film Festival on the eve of the one year anniversary of the military coup in the country and went on to win a special grand jury prize at the festival.

Watch a trailer for Midwives.

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