Director: John Rowe
Producers: Tyler Rowe & John Rowe

2015 | 89 min
Languages: Kara, Amharic, English
Subtitles: English

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 by adopting these children as his own; he also 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.

Jury Prize: Ethos, SIMA Awards 2016
Award of Excellence, Accolade Competition 2015
Special Jury Award, Arizona International Film Festival 2015
Audience Award, BendFilm Festival 2015
Audience and Best Documentary Jury Awards, Charleston International Film Festival 2015
Audience Award nomination, Hot Docs 2015
Award of Excellence: Special Mention, Indie Fest USA International Film Festival 2015
Best Documentary, New Hope Film Festival 2015
Jury Award, Oceanside International Film Festival 2015
Best Documentary Feature, Palm Beach International Film Festival 2015
Audience Choice award, Reel To Reel Film and Video Festival 2015
Audience Award, Red Rock Film Festival 2015
One in a Million: Documentary, Sun Valley Film Festival 2015
Golden Strands, Tallgrass International Film Festival 2015
Audience Award, Washington DC Independent Film Festival 2015
Documentary Film Prize, Wine Country Film Festival 2015