Filmmaker Mary Olive Smith addresses the troubling topic of obstetric fistula by detailing the arduous journey that many Ethiopian women make to reach the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital in an attempt to end their constant misery and overcome the pressing sense of shame that is often associated with the disorder. Every year obstetric fistula affects at least two million women across the globe. A result of neglected childbirth, obstetric fistula is a hole that forms between the vagina and the bladder (and occasionally the rectum) in incidents of prolonged, obstructed labor. In addition to incontinence, obstetric fistula can also result in nerve damage, and, occasionally, the inability to bear future children. Ethiopian women afflicted with obstetric fistula must travel for days and spend a virtual fortune on bus fare simply to receive treatment. By detailing the harrowing birth stories and subsequent journeys of five women who decide to reclaim their dignity by traveling to Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital and receiving the free treatment offered by doctors Reginald and Catherine Hamlin, Smith offers hope to the women who have been shunned by family and neighbors while opening the world's eyes to a pressing problem that many are simply too embarrassed to discuss.
by Jason Buchanan synopsis