Lunenburg Doc Fest is proud to announce OMO CHILD: THE RIVER AND THE BUSH as an official selection.

For many generations people in the Omo Valley (southwest Ethiopia) believed some children are cursed and that these ‘cursed’ children bring disease, drought and death to the tribe. The curse is called ‘mingi’ and mingi children are killed.

Lale Labuko, a young educated man from the Kara was 15 years old when he saw a child in his village killed and also learned that he had 2 older sisters he never knew who had been killed. He decided one day he would stop this horrific practice.

Filmed over a five year period we follow Lale’s journey along with the people of his tribe as they attempt to change an ancient practice.






John Rowe, the Director/Producer of Omo Child: The River and the Bush is a first time filmmaker who began his journey in film at the US Naval School of Photography in 1970. Following 6 years in the USNR as a camera operator and photographer for various Navy documentaries John pursued a 25 year career producing video games and CG animated films for video games.

In 2004, John first visited the Omo Valley in southwest Ethiopia and returned many times as a photographer exploring the tribal cultures of the lower Omo Valley. In 2010, John learned about the killing of children thought to be cursed and of Lale Labuko, a young man from the Kara tribe who was rescuing some children. Lale needed help to support the children he and his organization had rescued. John decided that same year to begin filming and documenting this incredible story. What started as a short video for youtube ended up becoming a feature length documentary.

John has been married to his wife Regina for 33 years and they have two children Tyler (26) and Kelly (22). They currently live in San Diego, California. Tyler Rowe Co-Produced and Directed the Photography for Omo Child: The River and the Bush.



89 mins
2015, United States | Ethiopia
The Pearl Theatre, 37 Hall Street


Screening time to be announced…


To learn more about OMO CHILD: THE RIVER AND THE BUSH see the FILMS tab in the main menu.

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