According to the U.N. around 20 women are raped every day in the province of South Kivu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, making it the worst place in the world to be a woman. Someone who can confirm those statistics is the titular protagonist of Pablo de la Chica’s short documentary Mama, a woman who went through the unthinkable trauma no less than three times.

This is unfortunately not the only story of heavy sexual abuse Mama can report of. But now, many years after, the Lwiro Primates Rehabilitation Center where she is working at, is the place where she can forget about her trauma by taking care of baby chimpanzees who also went to hell before being rescued and brought to safety.

They also experienced the horrors of armed men shooting and killing, of poachers who robbed them of their parents and left them orphaned. The hurt sits deep, and the fear of humans is immense.

Mama is a film about the mutual healing process of the chimpanzee babies and their carer, all of them marked by deep traumas. There is no one else they can invest their trust in, nor the connection that deep that could replace the absence of parents, or in Mama’s case – of the unconditional love. This kind of dedication to animals in distress, she’s lucky to be sharing with two Spanish women – Lorena and Itsaso who’ve been working at the center a bit longer, and who brought her to Lwiro, believing that such a change of scenery and employment would do her good and heal her emotional wounds.

Not only that this proved to be true, their intervention made the life of baby monkeys better. In Mama, they found their lost motherly love. We observe them clinging onto the woman’s body, fighting for her attention, to be petted and caressed.



Still Frames: Mama Zawadi, Gédeon Munganga, Lorena Aguirre Cadarso, Itsaso Vélez del Burgo,

Dirección: Pablo de la Chica

Dirección de fotografía: Cesc Nogueras

Sonido: Fer Aliaga

Edición: Juan Manuel Gamazo

Música: Alberto Torres

Productora: Salón Indien Films

Productora: Salón Indien Films, Kinetoscopio Films, The Other Film Production, Media Attack, Filmmakers Monkeys, Dinamite Films