HBO announced that a documentary would make a debut on its Max app on September 26, and social media users had a lot to say about it.
The protagonist of Savior Complex is Renee Bach, a white American missionary who founded a charity for children with malnutrition while on a missionary trip to Uganda. She then began administering her own care to the ill kids. There was just one issue: Bach lacked the necessary medical credentials.
In the short trailer of the documentary posted on HBO’s social media platforms, Renee Bach says; I think some of the wildest accusations that were made about me is that I killed 800 children, I was medically experimenting on children, compared to Adolf Hitler, assumed to be part of the KKK… It’s kinda like, where to begin, you know?
The three-part documentary, according to HBO, examines the difficult difficulties of overseas charity work carried out in the name of humanitarian and religious objectives.
Many commenters questioned HBO’s decision to produce a documentary on this specific topic, and some suggested the Ugandan investigative film The Messiahs That Were Not by Munjuni Raymond and Next Media Uganda as a possible substitute. Other users noted that Bach reached a settlement in a Ugandan court following allegations that she impersonated a doctor and attempted medical operations for which she was not qualified.
Are good intentions good enough?#SaviorComplexHBO, a 3-part @HBO Original Documentary that examines the story of a young missionary, what it means to help, and the intersection of religion, race, and power, premieres September 26 on @StreamOnMax. pic.twitter.com/5nSeVpEVG6
— HBO Documentaries (@HBODocs) September 6, 2023
Amazing access to Bach is provided in this three-part HBO original docuseries. Bach, an American missionary at the age of 19, felt “called by God” to aid starving children in Uganda. Years later, allegations made by anonymous sources claimed that despite without any medical training, Bach directly treated children at her charity institution. She was called the “Angel of Death” and a terrible illustration of white saviorism on social media. Bach claims that looking back, “I did not kill children.” Her viewpoint is countered by comments from the head nurse of her hospital, campaigners, real medical experts, moms who have filed lawsuits alleging that their children died under Bach’s care, and more.
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Savior Complex will cover “the wider questions around ‘white saviorism’ and the ethics of foreign aid work done in the name of humanitarian and religious ideals,” according to a synopsis of the film. The series will also feature commentary from Bach and those trying to hold her accountable, such as accusers, lawyers, activists, and mothers.