Lumo

Patrick Vinck, an agricultural engineer who specializes in rural development, directs the Berkeley-Tulane Initiative for Vulnerable Populations.

A community of courageous women is at the heart of this nuanced documentary on war, recovery, and social activism, co-directed by a founding member of the influential Maysles Film Institute. In a hospital along the Rwanda/Congo border, several women are on the long road to recovering from the horrors of war, in this case the systematic use of rape as a weapon of terror. One woman, Lumo, suffering from fistula, stands out; her experiences have left her body scarred, but her spirit remains hopeful and determined. Balancing one woman's very particular voice with the universal and political aspects of her circumstances, Lumo sensitively shows its subjects as individuals first, then as women, but never merely as victims. Unsurprisingly from a director who regularly shoots for the great documentarian Albert Maysles, the film's camerawork fills in the rest of the women's stories, opening up from intense close-up interviews to more serene views of the fabric of life and nature around them.

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