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Ladies in Waiting

Ladies in Waiting

Ladies in Waiting is also available as part of the 4-film set 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


Main credits

Tunda Wa Munga, Djo (film producer)
Markovitz, Steven (film producer)
Hamadi, Dieudo (film director)
Wa Lusala, Divita (film director)

Other credits

Director of photography: Davita Wa Lusala; editor: Davita Wa Lusala.

Docuseek2 subjects

Distributor subjects

African Studies
Central Africa
Economic Sociology
Health Care Issues
Medical Sociology
US and Canadian Broadcast Rights
Women's Health


Democratic Republic of Congo ; maternity clinic; DRC; Congo; Kinshasa; hospital; hospitals; womens hospital; pregnant; maternity; delivery; mothers; documentary; film; video; DVD; Congolese; public; private; healthcare; health care; "Ladies in Waiting"; Icarus Films

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