The charity WaterAid has released an interactive video, which provides a window into the contrasting lives of two midwifes. One works at Liverpool Women’s Hospital in the U.K. and the other does the same job at Kiomboi hospital in rural Tanzania.
The interactive element of the film allows viewers to switch between one setting and the other as each midwife works though her shift. In the U.K., Delia Jepson, who also featured in Channel 4 doc series, One Born Every Minute, is seen going about her working day surrounded by all the technology, sterile equipment and support staff one takes for granted in the comfortable surroundings of a modern U.K. hospital. In Tanzania, meanwhile, Juliana Msoffe works largely alone in a delivery ward, which lacks a running water supply or clean sanitation, and struggles to source water, which she then has to ration and preserve.
The three-minute “Parallel Lives” was made by WaterAid’s in-house production team, and is somewhat reminiscent of Honda’s award-winning “The Other Side”, which used a similar technique to allow viewers to flip between film of the same man being an ordinary dad driving his car in one version and a getaway driver being chased by the cops in the other. The WaterAid film brings to life something that is generally understood–that conditions in African hospitals are frequently extremely challenging–but seldom has it been highlighted with such clarity. It’s accompanied by a 30-second online trailer.
The video goes onto explain that 42% of health care facilities in Africa are without access to safe water, and closes with a call to action, asking viewers to donate by text message, supporting the London-based charity’s wider “Deliver Life” appeal.