24 min / German, French, English / 2019
Written, directed, shot & edited: Dennis & Patrick Weinert
Produced by: sendefaehig GmbH
International Distribution: ARTE Distribution
Awards: Peter Scholl-Latour Award (2020)
This reportage is also available in French and English.
Despite health emergency teams’ best efforts and new effective treatments, the Ebola virus continues to spread. In just over a year, 3,000 people were infected with the virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo – 2,000 of them died from it.
The region has been ravaged by endless wars over the past 20 years; there, death is a daily occurrence. The population still does not consider the virus as a common enemy; it thus remains difficult to eradicate. The recovery of the victims’ bodies for burial takes place without the families’ prior agreement. This practice goes against all local customs and habits. Although quick and effective in terms of health, this fuels fears and suspicions among families who are already aggrieved by the loss of a loved one.
The inhabitants’ great distrust towards the authorities and international assistants makes the health workers’ mission difficult – sometimes even deadly. Even currently available promising vaccines and drugs have yet to produce any spectacular results. However, those who are treated early have a much better chance of survival. The authorities and humanitarian organizations have changed up their strategy to combat this highly complex epidemic. They are now trying to regain the confidence of the population first, in order to prevent the virus from spreading.