Omo Child
The River and the Bush


Official Trailer

Omo Child: The River and the Bush is a documentary film which tells the amazing true story of a young man’s journey to end the ancient practice known as Mingi in the Omo Valley, Ethiopia. Mingi means curse and any child who is thought to be Mingi must be killed according to ancient cultural traditions. Lale Labuko, from the Kara tribe, was convinced that no curse existed and he set out to change his tribe and the Omo Valley and in doing so lifting a burden from the shoulder’s of the Kara people.



Cinema Society 2015/16 Society’s Finest Documentary Award (#1)

Social Imapact Media Award – Jury Ethos Award

IndieFest Grand Prize Humanitarian Award

2015 Festival Awards

World Premiere Washington D.C. Independent – Best Documentary

Sun Valley International Film Festival – Special Recognition “One in a Million” Doc

Palm Beach International Film Festival – Best Documentary

Arizona International Film Festival – Best Cinematography

ASU Human Rights Film Festival – Best of Fest

HotDocs – Top 10 Audience Award

Accolades Global Film – Award of Excellence

Mammoth Lakes Film Festival – Audience Choice Best Documentary

Real to Reel Film Festival – Audience Choice Best Documentary

New Hope Film Festival – Best Documentary

IndieFest – Award of Excellence

Oceanside International Film Festival – Best Documentary

Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival – Best Documentary

Wine Country Film Festival – Cinema for Conscience Award

Lunenburg DocFest – Best Feature Film

BendFilm Festival – Audience Choice Best Feature

Tallgrass International Film Festival – Outstanding Cinematography

Ottawa International Film Festival –  (2) Best Feature Film and Best Original Music

Charleston International Film Festival – (2) Jury Award Best Documentary and Audience Choice Award Best Documentary

Red Rock Film Festival – Audience Choice Best Documentary




Omo Child: The River and the Bush

Release Date: April 29th 2016 iTunes, Google Play and now DVD

Year    :   2015
By    :   John Rowe
Slogan    :   Omo Child: The River and the Bush
Genre    :   Documentary
Time    :   1:29
Budget    :   N/A
Age    :   N/A

Omo Child: The River and The Bush tells 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. Omo Child: The River and the Bush now available on iTunes and Google Play!  Download now and tell your friends.

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Lale Labuko

The elders believe that the children are cursed and must be killed. I said to them, let me be the river, let me be the bush. Give the children to me and I will take them and the curse away from the Kara land.

Dore Lale Haila

My second son was mingi and they strangled him with a rope. They killed him and threw him in the bush. Sometimes I dream of him; he comes and stands before me and then disappears.

Hylo Ari

I am one of the victims of mingi. Last year my daughter was declared teeth mingi because her teeth showed from the top first instead of the bottom. In my mind it was unthinkable to drown my own child in the river. I swore to God no one would kill my own flesh and blood. I will be the first Kara man to stand up to the elders.



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