The Man Who Mends Women: The Wrath of Hippocrates is a somber documentary about an extremely sad subject: the horror that the women of the Democratic Republic of Congo have suffered for years at the hands of rebel soldiers. Brutal atrocities get personalized in the film by giving faces to the names of some of the thousands of women who were raped by soldiers as an act of war. 2019 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Dr. Denis Mukwege, is an OBGYN who treats these women and children at the Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, South Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo.
In 1994, Rwandan Tutsis fled to the Congo and what used to be Zaire. For two years, the Rwandan commandos allied with some Congolese soldiers pursued Hutu refugees across the Congo and overthrew President Mobutu in 1997. Since then, there has been a civil war between the Tutsi and Hutu. Countless civilians suffered in the crossfire, including women and children. Dr. Mukwege became a spokesperson for women’s suffering in the Congo to the whole world. He is seen at the United Nations, at Georgetown being praised by Hillary Clinton, and in front of Congress with Ben Affleck and others to talk about the horrors he has seen first hand.
“Dr. Mukwege became a spokesperson for women’s suffering in the Congo to the whole world.”
As such, Dr. Mukwege is seen as a savior to the women he’s operated on. These operations also give them a new lease on life. Some of the women have formed a group called the Association for the Defense of Women’s Interest or SARCAF. The women talk about some of the things they suffered through. There is talk of soldiers forcing husbands to rape their wives in front of the whole family or, worse, making the sons rape their mothers. If the son says no, he is killed on the spot. There are seemingly countless stories like this to be heard in The Man Who Mends Women: The Wrath of Hippocrates.
Dr. Mukwege is undoubtedly a hero. Soldiers killed his son, and he briefly went into exile in Europe. Women from SARCAF and Idjwi Women’s Association helped raised money for a plane ticket for him to come back. He felt like he had to, that this was where he belonged. He is now escorted by a squad of Egyptian policemen provided by the UN to keep him alive.
"…Dr. Mukwege is undoubtedly a hero."