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A Walk to Beautiful
Directed by Mary Olive Smith
Field director:
Amy Bucher
Produced by Steven Engel
Mary Olive Smith
Music by David Schommer
Distributed by Engel Entertainment
Release date(s) February 8, 2008
Running time 85 min.
Country United States
Language English

A Walk to Beautiful is a 2007 American documentary film produced and distributed by Engel Entertainment, directed by Mary Olive Smith and field director Amy Bucher about women who suffer from childbirth injuries in Ethiopia. In 2007, the film premiered in film festivals and was chosen for the International Documentary Association Best Feature Documentary Film of the Year award. The following year, the film opened in theaters in the United States in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. A 52-minute version of "A Walk to Beautiful" that premiered on NOVA on PBS on May 13, 2008 won the 2009 Emmy Award in the Outstanding Informational Programming (Long Form) category on September 21, 2009 at the News and Documentary Emmy Awards ceremony on September 21, 2009 at Rose Hall, Lincoln Center in New York City.

Production and release

The film was funded by Engel Entertainment, and also received grants from NOVA, Fistula Foundation, The Marianthi Foundation, UNFPA, The Fledgling Film Fund, and private donors.

A Walk to Beautiful premiered in 2007, and was theatrically released by its production company, Engel Entertainment, in the United States on February 8, 2008 in New York and on February 29, 2008 in Los Angeles.[1][2] This same year, the film airs on Public Broadcasting Service's Nova series, starting from May 13, 2008.[3]


A Walk to Beautiful tells the stories of five women in Ethiopia who are ostracized by their family and villages due to their suffering from obstetric fistula, a serious medical condition caused by failed childbirth under conditions of insurmountable poverty and inadequate health care. These women live in isolation with a sense of loneliness and shame due to rejection by their own. Each of these five women choose to reclaim their lives by taking the long and exhausting journey to the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital so they could receive the medical treatment available only there. Upon arriving at the hospital, the women are treated free of charge, resulting in new beginnings. However, not every patient can be cured, but each woman takes her own journey toward becoming independent and productive members of their communities once again.


Critical reaction

The documentary was given positive reviews by critics. Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 82 out of 100, based on 6 reviews, classifying A Walk to Beautiful as a universal acclaim.[4] The film was regarded as "competently made, precisely shot and buoyantly humanistic" by Variety magazine,[5] and Kenneth Turan of The Los Angeles Times commented that "A Walk to Beautiful will leave you speechless two times over – first with despair, then with joy. Neither unmentionable subject matter nor nonexistent commercial prospects can keep this documentary from having a power over your heart that is unparalleled."[6] According to the New York Times, A Walk to Beautiful quietly criticises a chauvinist society existed in some countries where women are considered "lovers, mothers and servants", and anyone who cannot fulfill these roles is disregarded by their community.[7]

Box office

As of February 2008, the film had grossed $7,718 dollars in the United States.[8]

Nominations and awards

"A Walk to Beautiful" was awarded the Emmy in the Informational Programming (Long Form) category on September 21, 2009 by the NATAS. A Walk to Beautiful was named by the International Documentary Association as the Best Feature documentary film of the year.[9][10] The film also received the Golden Gate Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival and the Audience Choice Award and Interfaith Award for Best Documentary at the 16th Annual AT&T St. Louis International Film Festival.[11][12]

At the international Denver Film Festival, the film was given People’s Choice Award for best documentary.[13]


External links

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