"When you rape a woman, you rape your mother. When you rape a girl, you rape your daughter or sister."
Fighting the Silence is a documentary film by Ilse and Femke van Velzen, which shines light on the widespread and frequent occurrence of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo and explores the norms and values that is manifested in rape, and the social consequences the survivors are faced with.
In the film we meet women survivors who are struggleing to be accepted; navigating through stigmatization and abandonment by their husbands. We also meet a woman who is trying to change a society where rape is a taboo topic. We meet a man who is in prison for raping a young girl who shows no signs of remorse. We meet men who belive that women are responsible for the rapes for dressing provocativly.
We are shown a patriarchal society where a woman's body is viewed as her husband's property, a society that can not and will not move forward as long as this war on women continues. A society where not only women are being destroyed, but also men, families, and the entire fabric of society.
Ilse and Femke van Velzen have mangaged in a simple but effective way to place the viewer in the middle; exposing both the cause and the solution. By not using a narrator they allow you to observe and draw your own conclusions. It is a powerfull story that needed to be told. Thank you Ilse and Femke van Velsen for telling it so convincingly!
I hope that Fighting the Silence have opened the eyes of those who have seen it, and that it will open the eyes of those of you who have yet to see it. It is important that we do not only become aware, but that we see this film as a call to action. As Dr Denis Mukwege put it: "If we have awareness, we should get action. Because it is not only to know, but to act"
Fighting the Silence can be orderd for institutional and educational use from Women Make Movies: http://www.wmm.com/index.asp
Order it for private use from
IF Productions :http://www.ifproductions.nl/fightingthesilence/buydvd.html