Canadian Premiere at Hot Docs

Midwives had its world premiere at Sundance and will now make its Canadian premiere at Hot Docs on Sunday, May 1, 8:15 pm at Isabel Bader Theatre..

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. 

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 ze 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. 

“I was born in Rakhine State, Western part of Myanmar,” says Ei Hlaing. “When I was a kid, it seemed to me that Buddhists and Muslims were able to live peacefully side by side. As an adult, I was living and working as a filmmaker in Yangon in 2012, when the news of the Rohingya conflict started to come out. I refused to believe that the hate speech I was hearing in the media at that time was reflective of reality. So I went back to my hometown to better understand myself, my people, where all this anger and hatred was coming from. On that visit I met two extraordinary women, a Buddhist Midwife and her young Muslim apprentice.  I made this film in order to represent myself and my country’s story – a story that I really want to tell using the film language.”

Director Snow Hnin Ei Hlaing

Producers Bob Moore, Ulla Lehmann, Mila Aung-Thwin, Snow Hnin Ei Hlaing

Showtimes at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival:
Sunday, May 1 – 8:15 pm – Isabel Bader Theatre, Toronto
Thursday, May 5  – 11:45 am –  Varsity 8, Toronto
Canada-wide Online Streaming – begins Monday, May 5, 9 AM – for 5 days

Tickets and More Info Here