Hla and Nyo Nyo both work as obstetricians at the maternity clinic Hla set up in Rakhine, in the west of Myanmar. The very fact of their partnership is remarkable, because Hla is Buddhist and Nyo Nyo is Muslim. Rohingya Muslims have been persecuted for many years in this politically fractured Southeast Asian country. The Myanmar military committed genocide in 2016 and 2017, and more than 700,000 Rohingya people fled the country. Archive material showing demonstrations and refugees, as well as more recent footage of shootings and bombardments, make the seriousness of the situation all too painfully palpable.
This all means that providing medical treatment to Muslim women carries great danger. But Hla is unbothered by the threats and oppressive regulations. Bolstered by her colleague’s unwavering determination, Nyo Nyo decides she will stay, whatever the risks, and fight to provide proper medical care for Rohingya women. In the years that follow, she uses all the help she can get to set up her own maternity clinic. Meanwhile, the civil war is escalating. This prizewinner at Sundance is about fighting the good fight, even when it feels like the very ground itself is giving way beneath your feet.