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photo Ladies in Waiting
By Dieudo Hamadi & Divita Wa Lusala

Taking in the wives of the unemployed, of unpaid government employees, the Kitambo maternity clinic in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo has to cope with its patients' lack of money. And negotiations are tough between the administration and the women. As long as the bill remains unsettled they are kept at the clinic, which only increases the cost of their stay. And here everything has a price, even a birth certificate. The women's protests against their poor accommodations or their claims that their husbands' pay is overdue can change nothing. The female administrator won't budge an inch. If you've no money, you stay put. "Hold me hostage instead of my wife" offers one man. A long suffering manager, herself at the mercy of the system, must negotiate collateral with them: a celebration dress, a pair of earrings, a suitcase, so they will return and pay in full.

is an intimate, all-too-human reminder of the ways economic forces play out in even the best-intentioned healthcare institutions in poor countries affecting not only the institutions, but health care workers and patients alike.

24 minutes
© 2009
Purchase $248 DVD
Order No. QA-556

Reviews
"Hard-hitting, eye-opening expose." Neil Young, The Hollywood Reporter

"Broken bureaucracy, noise, tension, despair, and general exhaustion among all parties." Anthropology Review Database

Awards & Conference Screenings
Berlin International Film Festival, 2010
Cinéma du Réel Film Festival, 2010
Hot Docs Film Festival, 2010

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Worlds Apart: A series on cross-cultural healthcare. These four unique trigger films raise awareness about how cultural barriers affect patient-provider communication and other aspects of care for patients of diverse backgrounds.


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