“Lisa F. Jackson's powerful, brutal film is the closest most of the women will ever come to justice.”
– Entertainment Weekly, #986, April 11, 2008
Film Shatters Silence in Congo
Press Release - For Immediate Release
New York, NY - December 5th, 2008
On December 11th, Congolese government officials will come face to face with the horrors happening in their own country and hear shattering testimonies that will pierce the denial that isolates them in the capital city.
This extraordinary event will take place in the National Assembly Hall in the Palace of the People in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. Over 500 people, including representatives of the diplomatic community, the United Nations, international NGO’s and state government officials, will attend the Congolese premiere screening of “The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo”, a documentary film about the use of sexual violence as a weapon in the DRC’s deadly and intractable war.
This will be the first time that many in this audience, which will include National Parliament President Vital Kamerhe and potentially both President and Madame Kabila, will hear Congolese women describe their own horrific experiences and cry out for an end to the DRC’s culture of impunity. In breaking their silence the survivors in the film shatter huge taboos and will be putting their own government on the spot, confronting officials who, if not actually culpable for perpetuating a culture of violence, exploitation and impunity, are at the very least guilty of ignorance and neglect.
The film won a Special Jury Prize at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, was broadcast in the US on HBO in April and has been seen by audiences in over 50 countries. It inspired a UN Security Counsel resolution, opened a US Senate hearing, and has been screened in the British House of Commons, the International Criminal Court and the US Department of State.
Also attending the screening will be two women featured in the film, Marie Jeanne M’Bweshe, a rape survivor from Bukavu, and Major Honorine Munyole, Head of Sex Crimes and Child Protection for the Congolese National Police; and Producer/Director Lisa F Jackson.
In January ‘09 the film will have its Congolese national television premiere on the RTNC, the first of four broadcasts in three languages. This is expected to trigger significant debate and change within a country that needs to recognize these invisible victims of war and must begin to heal after too many years of rape and conflict.