MUFF: Omo Child: The River and the Bush


The Main 3 Sat, Oct 10, 2015 3:00 PM
Film Info
Premiere Status:Midwest Premiere
English Title:MUFF: Omo Child: The River and the Bush
Program:Minneapolis Underground Film Festival
Hosted Events
Social Issues
Release Year:2015
Runtime:90 min
Type:Feature Documentary
United States
Director:John Rowe
Producer:John Rowe
Tyler Rowe
Cinematographer:Tyler Rowe
Editor:Matt Skow


The amazing true story of one man’s journey to bring about a progressive cultural shift that will save children’s lives. Lale Labuko, born and raised in the Kara tribe in the Omo Valley, Ethiopia learns of “mingi” at age 15. Children born out of wedlock, or whose top teeth grow in before their bottom teeth, or even those who are born a twin, are killed by virtue of this ancient tradition that deems them “mingi”, or cursed. Lale strives to not only save these children’s lives but to also lift the “burden” from the shoulder’s of the Kara people; he adopts these children as his own. Lale attempts to reconcile with Kara elders to end this tradition forever in order to ultimately protect the longevity of his people and his culture.

Filmed over a five year period, this documentary paints stunning portraits of Ethiopian landscapes as it follows Lale's journey where he confronts his own death, negotiates deeply rooted superstition, and navigates the difficult position of leading a cultural movement.