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Ladies in Waiting
Directed by Dieudo Hamadi and Divita Wa Lusala
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Ladies in Waiting is also available as part of Congo in Four Acts

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.

LADIES IN WAITING 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.

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

"LADIES IN WAITING channels Frederick Wiseman as it chronicles the bureaucratic dysfunctions of a Kinshasa maternity ward."—Hot Docs

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

2011 New York African Film Festival
2010 Berlin International Film Festival
2010 Cinema du Reel Film Festival
2010 Hot Docs Film Festival

24 minutes / Color
English subtitles
Release: 2010
Copyright: 2009

For colleges, universities, government agencies, hospitals and corporations

This DVD is sold with a license for institutional use and Public Performance rights.

Subject areas:
Africa, African Studies, Bioethics, Central Africa, Congo, Economic Sociology, Health Care Issues, Medical Sociology, Medicine, US & Canadian Broadcast Rights, Women's Health

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