Sister: An Intimate Portrait of a Global Health Crisis

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Film screening and panel with Shanti Uganda


Reel Causes is delighted to partner with Shanti Uganda and SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement to present Sister: An Intimate Portrait of a Global Health Crisis on May 7th at SFU Woodward’s.

Sister tells the story of health workers from Ethiopia, Cambodia and Haiti, exploring how they find meaning while working under difficult circumstances and revealing maternal and newborn death as a human rights issue.

An intimate portrait of a global crisis woven from indigenous scenery and vérité footage, Sister captures colors, sights and sounds while exploring dedicated health workers and those in their care through intense and beautiful moments.

Goitom Berhane, a charismatic Ethiopian health officer in residency in a Masters of Surgery and Obstetrics Program at a rural hospital. Pum Mach, a direct but gentle rural midwife living and working within a heavily land mined area of Cambodia. And Madam Bwa, a captivating Haitian midwife, herself fighting poverty, working in a volatile, densely populated urban area.

Their stories reveal strategies in place to improve maternal health and address the crisis in maternal and newborn mortality to show when the strategies work, when they don’t work and how the lack of transport, communication and education create weak links along the way.

These are some of the stories behind the statistics.

Brenda David – Filmmaker/Director:

Brenda Davis is a Canadian citizen who grew up in Toronto and is a U.S. permanent resident currently living in New York City. Brenda has over 20 years experience in various aspects of filmmaking. She has worked as a script supervisor, a script consultant, and extensively as a researcher. She is a member of the researchers organization FOCAL International.

Brenda has made five short films for NGOs shot as a one-person crew. These projects are the foundation of Brenda’s filmmaking style: vérité documentary rooted in social activism. SISTER is her first feature documentary.

(Synopsis and Director’s bio taken directly from


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About Reel Causes Society

Reel Causes partners with filmmakers and Canadian causes dedicated to addressing global social justice issues. We host film screenings followed by a Q&A session to educate and inspire our community, and provide a forum for authentic conversation around the issues that affect us locally.

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