The three-part docuseries SAVIOR COMPLEX, an HBO Original, is directed by Emmy®-winning filmmaker Jackie Jesko and executive produced by Nick Capote, Alex Waterfield, and Academy Award® winner Roger Ross Williams (known for HBO’s “Love to Love You, Donna Summer” and “God Loves Uganda”).
It premieres on Tuesday, September 26 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on HBO, followed by episodes two and three airing on Wednesday, September 27 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT. All three episodes will also be available for streaming on Max starting on September 26 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT.
At the age of 19, Renee Bach, a homeschooled high school graduate from Virginia and Evangelical missionary, founded Serving His Children (SHC), an organization dedicated to providing food and care to malnourished children in Uganda. As accusations from whistleblowers surfaced, claiming that Renee had been providing medical treatment without the necessary qualifications, a social media activist group called No White Saviors gained attention and labeled Renee as the “Angel of Death” and a symbol of neocolonialism. Despite denying these accusations and asserting that her work was guided by God and had saved hundreds of lives, SAVIOR COMPLEX critically examines the complex challenges of missionary work in underfunded local facilities, where Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) step in to provide resources in developing countries. With unprecedented access to Renee, her accusers, legal experts, activists, and mothers seeking justice, the series tackles timely and thought-provoking issues that arise at the intersection of religion, race, and power.
The documentary series, SAVIOR COMPLEX, tells the controversial story of Renee Bach, an American missionary who believed it was her divine calling to establish a charity in Jinja, Uganda, aimed at helping malnourished children. However, years later, disturbing allegations emerged that Renee had been treating the sick children herself, despite lacking medical qualifications. The series delves into Renee’s divisive journey and explores broader questions surrounding the concept of “white saviorism” and the ethical implications of foreign aid work conducted in the name of humanitarian and religious ideals.
Episode 1: “God Doesn’t Call the Qualified, He Qualifies the Called” Debut date: TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 26 (9:00 – 10:00 p.m. ET/PT)
At 19 years old, Renee Bach felt God’s call to serve as a missionary and moves to Jinja, Uganda to start a charity that addresses childhood malnutrition. She earns the support of local Ugandan officials and foreign donors alike. But when an American nurse comes to volunteer at the charity, she makes a shocking discovery and accuses Renee of treating these medically fragile children herself, with only a high school diploma to her name.
Episode 2: “Cast the First Stone”
Debut date: WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 (9:00 – 10:00 p.m. ET/PT)
The volunteer nurse makes a formal complaint to Renee’s board about her concerns and resigns as donations to SHC hit an all-time high. While the charity expands and hires more staff, there are rumors that Renee is continuing to practice medicine herself. As a result, a disillusioned former missionary joins forces with a Ugandan activist to make sure the story of Renee’s alleged “deadly white saviorism” is heard around the world.
Episode 3: “Reap What You Sow”
Debut date: WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 (10:00 – 11:00 p.m. ET/PT)
Renee is back in the United States facing a lawsuit brought by a Ugandan human rights attorney on behalf of two bereaved mothers. While she fights against the accusations in the lawsuit, the social media movement against her escalates and Renee must reckon with her choices and question her faith and desire to serve.
The series provides viewers with exclusive access to Renee Bach and her mother Lauri Bach, who is the U.S. Director of SHC. It also includes interviews with activists, lawyers, and whistleblowers who are striving to hold Renee accountable.
Among the interview subjects are Olivia Alaso and Kelsey Nielsen, the founders of No White Saviors; Constance Alonyo, the head nurse at SHC; Jackie Kramlich, a former volunteer at SHC who became a whistleblower; Dr. Abner Tagoola, the Head of Pediatrics at Jinja Hospital; Primah Kwagala, a human rights attorney who initiated a civil lawsuit against Renee; and Kakai Annet and Gimbo Zubeda, two mothers who sued Renee, alleging that their children died at SHC.
SAVIOR COMPLEX, a production by Latchkey Films, is presented by HBO Documentaries. It is directed and produced by Jackie Jesko, with Paul Kabango and Derrick Kibisi serving as producers. The executive producers are Roger Ross Williams, Alex Waterfield, and Nick Capote. Nancy Abraham, Lisa Heller, and Sara Rodriguez are the executive producers for HBO.