A Walk to Beautiful

A Walk to Beautiful is a 2007 American documentary film, executive produced by Steven M. Engel and Helen Diana ("Heidi") Reavis, produced and distributed by Engel Entertainment, about women who suffer from childbirth injuries in Ethiopia. In 2007, it premiered in film festivals and was chosen for the International Documentary Association Best Feature Documentary Film of the Year award. The following year, the film opened in theaters in the United States in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. A 52-minute version of A Walk to Beautiful that premiered on NOVA on PBS on May 13, 2008, won the 2009 Emmy Award in the Outstanding Informational Programming (Long Form) category on September 21, 2009, at the News and Documentary Emmy Awards ceremony on September 21, 2009, at Rose Hall, Lincoln Center in New York City.

A Walk to Beautiful
A walk to beautiful poster.jpg
Directed byMary Olive Smith
Produced bySteven M. Engel
Mary Olive Smith
Music byDavid Schommer
Edited byAndrew Ford
Distributed byEngel Entertainment
Release date
  • May 5, 2007 (2007-05-05) (San Francisco Film Festival)
  • February 8, 2008 (2008-02-08) (United States)
Running time
85 minutes
CountryUnited States

Production and releaseEdit

The film was funded by Engel Entertainment and also received grants from NOVA, Fistula Foundation, the Marianthi Foundation, UNFPA, the Fledgling Film Fund, and private donors.

A Walk to Beautiful premiered in 2007 and was theatrically released by its production company, Engel Entertainment, in the United States on February 8, 2008 in New York and on February 29, 2008, in Los Angeles.[1][2] This same year, it airs on Public Broadcasting Service's Nova series, starting from May 13, 2008.[3]


A Walk to Beautiful tells the stories of five women in Ethiopia who are ostracized by their family and villages due to their suffering from obstetric fistula, a serious medical condition caused by failed childbirth under conditions of insurmountable poverty and inadequate health care. These women live in isolation with a sense of loneliness and shame due to rejection by their own. Each of these five women chose to reclaim her life by taking the long and exhausting journey to the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital, so she could receive the medical treatment available only there. Upon arriving at the hospital, the women are treated free of charge, resulting in new beginnings. Not every patient can be cured, but each woman takes her own journey toward becoming an independent and productive member of her community once again.


Critical reactionEdit

The documentary was given positive reviews by critics. Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 82 out of 100, based on six reviews, classifying A Walk to Beautiful as a universal acclaim.[4] It was regarded as "competently made, precisely shot, and buoyantly humanistic" by Variety,[5] and Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times commented that "A Walk to Beautiful will leave you speechless two times over — first with despair, then with joy. Neither unmentionable subject matter nor nonexistent commercial prospects can keep this documentary from having a power over your heart that is unparalleled."[6] According to The New York Times, A Walk to Beautiful quietly criticises a chauvinist society in some countries where women are considered "lovers, mothers, and servants", and anyone who cannot fulfill these roles is disregarded by her community.[7]

Box officeEdit

As of February 2008, the film had grossed $7,718 dollars in the United States.[8]

Nominations and awardsEdit

A Walk to Beautiful was awarded the Emmy in the Informational Programming (Long Form) category on September 21, 2009, by the NATAS. It was named by the International Documentary Association as the Best Feature documentary film of the year.[9][10] It received the Golden Gate Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival and the Audience Choice Award and Interfaith Award for Best Documentary at the 16th Annual AT&T St. Louis International Film Festival.[11][12]

At the international Denver Film Festival, it was given People’s Choice Award for best documentary.[13]


  1. ^ A Walk to Beautiful releases from Film-releases.com. Retrieved on March 9, 2008.
  2. ^ "A Walk to Beautiful". Archived from the original on 2007-12-12.
  3. ^ Nova series:A walk to beautiful from Pbs.org. Retrieved on March 11, 2008.
  4. ^ "Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved March 9, 2008.
  5. ^ Film review from Variety magazine. Retrieved on March 9, 2008.
  6. ^ A Walk to Beautiful review from The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved on March 9, 2008.
  7. ^ Healing Cultural Wounds from The New York Times. Retrieved on March 9, 2008.
  8. ^ A Walk to Beautiful 2008 from Box Office Mojo. Retrieved on March 27, 2008.
  9. ^ Awards from International Documentary Association. Retrieved on March 9, 2008.
  10. ^ 'Walk to Beautiful' tops IDA awards from Variety.
  11. ^ AWARDS | GOLDEN GATE AWARDS | San Francisco Film Festival Archived July 24, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  12. ^ Cinema St Louis Archived 2008-03-04 at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^ News in 2007 | News | Denver Film Society at the Starz FilmCenter.

External linksEdit