Price: $310.00

    Code: 2312

    Directed by Bent Jorgen Perlmutt and Nelson Walker III
    Co-directed by Louis Abelman and Lynn True
    2006, 72 minutes
    Purchase: $310 Classroom Rental: $125

    The agonies of war torn Africa are deeply etched in the bodies of women. In eastern Congo, vying militias, armies and bandits use rape as a weapon of terror.

    Recently engaged to a young man from her village, 20 year-old Lumo Sinai couldn't wait to have children and start a family. But when she crossed paths with marauding soldiers who brutally attacked her, she was left with a fistula— a condition that renders her incontinent and threatens her ability to give birth in the future. Rejected by her fiancé and cast aside by her family, Lumo found her way to the one place that may save her: a hospital for rape survivors along the border with Rwanda.

    Buoyed by the love of the hospital staff, including a formidable team of wise women known to all as "the Mamas," Lumo and her friends keep alive the hope of one day resuming their former lives, thanks to an operation that can restore them fully to health. A feisty young woman with a red comb perpetually jutting from her hair, Lumo faces the challenge of recovery with remarkable courage and sass. As she and her friends recover from surgery, they pass the days by gossiping and sharing their dreams of one day finding love.

    But when it looks like her operation may have failed, Lumo's faith is thrown entirely into question. On her uncertain road to recovery, Lumo shows that the solidarity of women can bind the most irreparable of wounds.

    Lumo is an intimate look into a woman's tragedy and healing process, and, by extension, into the scourge of rape that marks the war-torn politics of central Africa.

    Subjects & Collections

    Festivals & Awards

    * Student Academy Award winner for Best Documentary 2007
    * Winner, President’s Award, Full Frame Festival, 2007
    * Winner, National Board of Review of Motion Pictures Award, 2006
    * Winner, Global Health Award, Media that Matters Film Festival, 2006
    * Human Rights Watch Film Festival, 2007


    “This film is so provocative, and so brave. It lets us understand what a powerful tool film is for social change... [It has] moved me.” - Barbara Kopple, Director, Harlan County U.S.A

    “The camera work is of highest standard as is the film... those close-ups I can’t forget, nor do I want to.” - Albert Maysles, Director

    “Tells the story of thousands through the profile of one.” – The New York Times

    “Puts a face, heart, and humanity to the heinous crime of rape as a tool of terror in war-torn Central Africa…The filmmakers convey what is heart-breaking, as well as what is courageous and brave, in this nightmare and in these women.” - BET

    Lumo is important in publicizing the tragic condition of these suffering women and the valiant international efforts (like HEAL Africa) to help them. Lumo would be useful in college African studies and African history programs. In addition, it has cross-over value in women’s studies and health-related medical programs. I can recommend this timely and important new documentary.” - Educational Media Reviews Online

    Lumo is a quietly and keenly observational documentary. While there’s no mistaking the case that it’s making—in favor of increased, sustained, and organized aid for rape victims in Africa, women afflicted by Lumo’s ‘illness’—[the] filmmakers…allow their subjects to tell their own stories, watching Lumo and fellow patients at the HEAL Africa hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo.” - PopMatters

    “Set almost entirely at the HEAL Africa hospital in the troubled eastern part of the country, upbeat, vibrantly shot Lumo handles its ostensibly dreary subject matter with astonishing serenity, due in large part to the solidarity of the women and the resilience of pic’s titular heroine…This colorful, deftly structured documentary confounds expectations....[The] filmmakers’ ability to seamlessly weave Lumo’s story into the fabric of the hospital setting without falsely heroicizing her owes much to the clarity and certitude of their HD lensing, which makes the most of the sumptuous palette of African hues and textures.” - Variety

    “A cinematic masterpiece.” - Black Filmmaker Magazine

    “Perlmutt’s documentary bravely sheds light on the war’s silent sufferers…Lumo is a window through which we get to know a clinic full of scarred but courageous women, and the activists determined to heal body, soul, and society at large. For her vulnerability, her innocence, her sense of hope, Lumo becomes both a symbol of the peace that is still possible, and a target for everything the war wants to destroy. This is, by nature, difficult material, and the tone, perhaps unavoidably, has an ennobled heft about it. That, in no way, takes away from the perseverance of these women to reclaim their lives, their dignity, and the compassion that informs Perlmutt’s project.” - Slant Magazine