Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Confronting Rape in the DRC

The veteran award-winning independent documentary filmmaker Lisa Jackson has produced a masterpiece in investigative journalism. Her engrossingly passionate The Greatest Silence, painstakingly documents the epidemic of rape in the DR Congo by delving into the psychology of rape from both the victims and the rapists. The gut-wrenching testimonies from victims, physicians, families, and all those affected by rape are an urgent call to action. Herself a victim of gang rape some 7,000 miles away from the jungles of the DRC where she begins her expose, Lisa Jackson shows the common bonds of pain and dehumanization that all victims of rape and sexual assault experience. Her courageous interviews with unrepentant rapist militias deep in the jungle are perhaps the most dramatic and fearsome scenes in the film. The film deservedly won the Special Jury Prize for Documentary Film at Sundance. For a review, see this article on

Voices Without Borders International is teaming up with several international human rights organizations and Jackson Films to develop an activism and advocacy campaign around the film for lawmakers and the public to address this pressing issue. The effort, coordinated by Working Films, will support legislation and action that helps alleviate this problem not simply by attending to the victims, but highlighting the connections to the coltan cartel and rooting out the problem.