A documentary on Maternal Mortality

The sun sets too often on women of childbearing age who face an inescapable reality - to live or die. For women living in Sub-Saharan Africa, Maternal Mortality is pervasive for many reasons. We attempt to

remove the veil on Nigeria's dichotomic healthcare system. 



Confident Woman
Giving birth is a natural gift to women

Every year in Nigeria, many expectant mothers die of childbirth. While Nigeria accounts for about 1.76 percent of the world’s population, the United States Agency for International Development estimates that fifteen percent of maternal and infant deaths come from the country. Nigeria has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world, second only to India. 




In a country rich with resources and talent, why do women die at an alarming rate? Sunset is set unveil the gender, socio-economic inequities that affect women in underserved communities in Nigeria.

Watch the trailer now.


Expectant women in Nigeria face an inescapable reality - to live or die. Should it take life to create life?

Sunset will unveil the dichotomy of the Nigerian healthcare system.

The stories of maternal mortality are told through memories of relatives, who share how their lives are forever changed after the loss of their mother during childbirth, and the voices of women facing the journey today. While the budding middle class may trust the hospital system, the poor and rural women often seek traditional birth attendants. Regardless, all women are at risk for some of the worst outcomes in the world. We take a look at a complicated two-tiered healthcare system that leaves all mothers vulnerable to maternal mortality.


This verité film will follow several women as they try to access maternal care over the birth cycle. Through observation and interviews along with, photos, and other media archives, we will explore expectant mothers’ access and challenges to healthcare in Nigeria. We will hear from surviving family members of the victims, expectant mothers, fathers, and families living in rural areas and urban townships. We will follow healthcare providers over several months, including physicians, nurses, midwives; and traditional birth attendants.  We will film in intimate and personal settings such as within our subjects homes, places of business, healthcare appointments, hospitals, and schools.


This film is an artistic juxtaposition of African beauty and art featuring elements found in nature as the essence of motherhood in Africa. We explore how the elements such as movement, music, food, faith and more, reflect the mother's journey. Modern archival footage, such as news broadcast, and  popular media will be used to demonstrate the real life impact of such data like the  World Health Organization maternal mortality statistics within Nigeria. Sunset will explore the journey of motherhood from conception to delivery, for women in Nigeria, as they fight to bring new life into the world.



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A typical Traditional Birth Attendant has been practicing for over two decades. Women in rural communities trust them implicitly. It's easy to meet a woman who's used the same TBA for all  her  children. 

Meet The Team

Adaku Uwandu

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Adaku is a Nigerian-American filmmaker and a healthcare professional, with a background in managing care across diverse populations. She has first-hand experience in managing the care of disenfranchised women. Her love for filmmaking and making a global impact has led to creating a documentary that elevates the platform of women of color. Sunset is a film that is currently three years in the making, leading to numerous journeys to Nigeria, conducting observational studies of the population.

Ife Olatunji

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Ife Olatunji is a practicing visual anthropologist specializing in observational documentary cinema and longitudinal ethnographic fieldwork. As an Anthropologist, Ife has conducted comparative observational fieldwork in Brazil, Ghana, Dominican Republic, India and, most recently Nigeria. She works with women, girls and children to examine complex social issues, such as employment, economics, politics, and access, through expressive and performative arts. Ife is currently a practicing ethnographic artist and filmmaker in Los Angeles, California.


Gilliam De La Torre

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Gilliam de la Torre (Gigi) is a Cuban visual artist focused on Cinematography and Photography. She studied cinematography at University of the Arts in Havana / ISA and completed DP workshops at EICTV San Antonio de los Baños and documentary studies at TISCH NYU.  Her career has been centered on her passion for documentaries. Her film work has won numerous awards to include Boston Turkish Film Festival. Her photographs have been published by Shots, Theater Geist and Tablas magazines. She resides between Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York and Vedado in Havana.



Babies having babies
Traditional Birth Attendant
A malnourished child in Northern Nigeria.
Traditional Birth Attendant
Women of Nasarawa
Traditional Birth Attendant
Women of Nasarawa State
Child hawking in Nassarawa  State
Rural women
Pregnant belly

Ideally, healthcare services should be accesible, available, affordable and acceptable to clients at all times. This is particularly important for populations with specific needs, such as pregnant women.

Minerva Kyei-Nimakoh et al. Victoria University, Melbourne.

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