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POV: Midwives

Mother and child
Courtesy of Snow Hnin Ei Hlaing
/
PBS
Mother and child

Monday, Nov. 21, 2022 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV / PBS Video App

POV delves into the lives of two midwives – one a Buddhist and one a Muslim, who defy strict ethnic divisions to work side by side at a health clinic in western Myanmar, in the absorbing documentary, "Midwives."Directed by Snow Hnin Ei Hlaing and produced by Snow, Emmy Award® winner Mila Aung-Thwin ("Up the Yangtze"), Bob Moore ("Last Train Home") and Ulla Lehmann ("Wood and Water"), "Midwives" makes its national broadcast premiere on POV.

“Midwives,” director Snow’s feature film debut, chronicles Hla and Nyo Nyo, two courageous women who unite to bring forth life at a makeshift medical clinic in western Myanmar. Hla, the owner of the clinic, is a Buddhist in the western region of the country, where the Rohingya of Rakhine State (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’re still considered intruders.

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POV: Trailer | Midwives

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. Hlaing followed the pair over five turbulent years and witnessed their struggles amid an increasingly dangerous environment.

“Be true to your story and your story will be true to you. Making creative documentary films can sometimes be lonely. We have to believe in what we are doing; deeply believe in our story. That means a lot of hard work and knowing what we really want to capture. Every woman's story you tell and every success you have as a filmmaker is a footprint for other women,” said Director/Producer Snow Hnin Ei Hlaing.

“Midwives” premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival and won the Excellence In Verité Filmmaking World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award. The documentary took the Best Film Award at the 2022 One World Human Rights Film Festival in Prague, and won the Asian Competition Grand Prize and Next Award at the DMZ International Documentary Film Festival.

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Debuts on PBS nationwide Monday, Nov. 21, 2022 and Free Streaming on PBS.org and the PBS Video app until Dec. 21, 2022

In addition to standard closed captioning for the film, POV, in partnership with audio description serviceDiCapta, provides real time audio interpretations for audiences with sensory disabilities.

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POV on Facebook / Instagram#MIDWIVESFILMPBS

Credits:

An EyeSteel Film, AMA Film, Snow Films and American Documentary co-production. Snow Hnin Ei Hlaing is the director/producer, and Mila Aung-Thwin, Bob Moore and Ulla Lehmann are the producers. Erika Dilday, Chris White, Justine Nagan are the executive producers for American Documentary | POV and Bob Moore for EyeSteelFilm.

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