The Man Who Mends Women - the wrath of Hippocrates

Thierry Michel

PLEASE NOTE: This film will be screened with DUTCH subtitles.


Five distinguished guests choose a significant ‘Movie That Matters’ which they believe everyone should have seen. Micha Wertheim, Hanna Verboom, Sylvana Simons, Linda Polman and Sanne Vogel have each chosen a film and they will explain their choice during the festival.

Hanna Verboom’s pick: The Man Who Mends Women. She says: ‘The Man Who Mends Women is a touching portrait of a surgeon in Congo who performs surgery on rape victims. This film touched me deeply. Not just because it clearly shows the core of many African countries – the vast nature and potential and the iron hold of corruption and wars – but most of all because it shows how the perseverance and conviction of a single individual can provide hope to many. Changing the world starts by reaching out your hand, looking each other in the eye and doing what you can. That isn’t just about the doctor, it’s something all of us can do. This is a documentary about hope.’

Portrait of the impressive life and works of internationally renowned gynaecologist Denis Mukwege from Congo. He recently received the prestigious Sacharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, for his struggle against sexual violence. Mukwege medically assisted over 40,000 sexually abused women in sixteen years of professional practice.

Sexual violence against women has been used as a weapon of war for years in the violence-ridden and poverty-stricken Democratic Republic of Congo. In order to provide medical, psychological and emotional aid to the victims, Mukwege founded the Panzi hospital in Bukavu in 1999. Besides his work as a physician Mukwege also defends human rights and seeks to raise global awareness on the issue of sexual violence in his country. He condemns the political reluctance to tackle the problem and is not afraid to hit the nail on the head.

His work is not without danger, as Mukwege experienced in 2012, when armed men entered his home and started shooting. Mukwege and his family survived the attack, but his guard was killed by the bullets flying around. The film captures Mukwege’s exceptional mission and zooms in on the effects of his work on family and friends.


Belgium 2015, 113 min.


Spoken language: French, English, Swahili, Mashi

Subtitles: Dutch


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Talkshows & debates

The Man Who Mends Women: Weapon of Choice Hanna Verboom

Sunday, March 26, 2017 - 21:15

Journalist Botte Jellema speaks with Hanna Verboom - Q&A is in Dutch