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WOMEN & GENOCIDE
 
Explorations of women’s roles in armed conflict have traditionally focused on women as victims, which has led to a limited understanding of the active roles women have played during and after conflicts. While women certainly been victims, through mass killings or rapes and other acts of violence, many women have been demonstrated heroic acts of bravery, from resistance during the Holocaust to working towards reconciliation and peace after the Rwandan genocide.

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films in this collection

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Atomic Mom
A film by M.T. Silvia

When M.T. Silvia was little, she thought it was fascinating that her mom Pauline did secret government work. But as she began to understand the ramifications of her mother’s research on the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project, a horrified Silvia took action, becoming an anti-nuclear demonstrator. After decades of secrecy, Pauline has become a peace activist and whistleblower, revealing some of the US military’s most closely guarded secrets. Through their extraordinary family history, Silvia examines the legacy of atomic warfare and the range of ethical issues it presents. More


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Bloodlines
A film by Cynthia Connop

Bettina Goering, grandniece of Hermann Goering, has long tried to bury the dark legacy of her family history. Painter Ruth Rich, a daughter of Holocaust survivors, cannot resolve her deep-rooted anger over the suffering of her parents and the loss of an older brother in the Holocaust. Bettina seeks out Ruth in an attempt to confront her enormous guilt and her fear that the capacity for evil is in her blood. When the women meet, their hidden guilt and rage clash in a series of intimate and extraordinary meetings. More


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Calling the Ghosts
A Story about Rape, War and Women

Executive Producer: Julia Ormond
Directed by Mandy Jacobson and Karmen Jelincic


An extraordinarily powerful documentary, CALLING THE GHOSTS is the first-person account of two women caught in a war where rape was as much an everyday weapon as bullets or bombs. Jadranka Cigelj and Nusreta Sivac, childhood friends and lawyers, enjoyed the lives of "ordinary modern women" in Bosnia-Herzegovina until one day former neighbors became tormentors. Taken to the notorious Serb concentration camp of Omarska, the two women, like other Muslim and Croat women interned there, were systematically tortured and humiliated by their Serb captors. More


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Daring to Resist: Three Women Face the Holocaust
A film by Martha Goell Lubell and Barbara Attie

Why would a young person choose resistance rather than submission during Hitler's reign of terror while her world was collapsing around her? In this gripping documentary, three Jewish women answer this question by recalling their lives as teenagers in occupied Holland, Hungary and Poland, when they refused to remain passive as the Nazis rounded up local Jewish populations. Defying her family's wishes, each girl found an unexpected way of fighting back--as a ballet dancer shuttling Jews to safe houses and distributing resistance newspapers; as a photographer and partisan waging guerrilla war against the Germans; and as a leader in an underground Zionist group smuggling Jews across the border. More


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Duhozanye: A Rwandan Village of Widows
A film by Karoline Frogner

During the 1994 genocidal campaign that claimed the lives of an estimated 800,000 Rwandans and committed atrocities against countless others, Daphrose Mukarutamu, a Tutsi, lost her husband and all but two of her 11 children. In the aftermath she considered suicide. But instead, she took in 20 orphans and started Duhozanye, an association of Tutsi and Hutu widows who were married to Tutsi men. This powerful documentary by award-winning Norwegian director Karoline Frogner recounts the story of Duhozanye’s formation and growth - from a support group of neighbors who share their traumatic experiences, rebuild their homes, and collect and bury their dead, to an expanding member-driven network that advances the empowerment of Rwandan women. More


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Elida Schogt Trilogy
Films by Elida Schogt

Elida Schogt’s deeply personal trilogy of short documentaries on Holocaust memory: ZYKLON PORTRAIT (1999), THE WALNUT TREE (2000) and SILENT SONG (2001) have been screened around the globe, garnering numerous awards. This trilogy includes: More


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Fighting the Silence
Sexual Violence against Women in the Congo

A film by Femke & Ilse van Velzen

The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s seven year war was the deadliest ever recorded in Africa. During that time, more than 80,000 women and girls were raped. Only now that the country is formally at peace are the consequences of the brutality becoming truly visible. Rape is slowly seeping into everyday life. More


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God Sleeps in Rwanda
A film by Kimberlee Acquaro and Stacy Sherman, Narrated by Rosario Dawson

Uncovering amazing stories of hope in the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide, Academy Award-Nominee GOD SLEEPS IN RWANDA captures the spirit of five courageous women as they rebuild their lives, redefine women’s roles in Rwandan society and bring hope to a wounded nation. More

Emmy Award for Best Documentary
Academy Award Nominee for Best Documentary Short

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Grace, Milly, Lucy . . . Child Soldiers
A film by Raymonde Provencher

“It’s very easy to create a killing machine. Just imagine. You’re seven years old and taken away from your family . . . your parents are killed in front of you or you’re forced to kill somebody. Through all that you’re beaten . . . then you’re given a gun and you’re told, ‘This gun is your life.’” – Grace Akallo More

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The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo
A film by Lisa F. Jackson

Winner of the Sundance Special Jury Prize in Documentary and the inspiration for a 2008 U.N. Resolution classifying rape as a weapon of war, this extraordinary film, shot in the war zones of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), shatters the silence that surrounds the use of sexual violence as a weapon of conflict. Many tens of thousands of women and girls have been systematically kidnapped, raped, mutilated and tortured by soldiers from both foreign militias and the Congolese army. A survivor of gang rape herself, Emmy Award®-winning filmmaker Lisa F. Jackson travels through the DRC to understand what is happening and why. More

Sundance Film Festival, Special Jury Prize: Documentary
Gracie Award, Outstanding Documentary - Long Format

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Pushing the Elephant
A film by Beth Davenport and Elizabeth Mandel

In the late 1990s, Rose Mapendo lost her family and home to the violence that engulfed the Democratic Republic of Congo. She emerged advocating forgiveness and reconciliation. In a country where ethnic violence has created seemingly irreparable rifts among Tutsis, Hutus and other Congolese, this remarkable woman is a vital voice in her beleaguered nation’s search for peace. More

2011 Women's International Film and Arts Festival, Winner, Best Documentary Feature
International Documentary Film Festival, Amsterdam (IDFA)

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Sisters in Resistance
A film by Maia Wechsler

“This compelling documentary shares the story of four French women of uncommon courage who, in their teens and twenties, risked their lives to fight the Nazi occupation of their country. Neither Jews nor Communists, they were in no danger of arrest before they joined the Resistance. They could have remained safe at home. But they chose to resist. Within two years all four were arrested by the Gestapo and deported as political prisoners to the hell of Ravensbruck concentration camp, where they helped one another survive. Today, elderly but still very active, they continue to push forward as social activists and intellectual leaders in their fields. More

Best Documentary, Women in Cinema Film Festival
Outstanding Doc, Academy Award Screening Committee

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Weapon of War
A film by Femke & Ilse van Velzen

In no other country has sexual violence matched the scale of brutality reached in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). During nearly two decades of conflicts between rebels and government forces, an estimated 150,000 Congolese women and girls fell victim to mass rape. That figure continues to rise. More




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Equity in Education


The films in this essential collection inspire social change in education. Learn about the role and impact of Title IX, examine gender disparities in math and science, and follow the personal story of an insightful high-school student whose life has been shaped by busing and school integration. See the full collection here.

Behind the Lens:
Women in Cinema

This extraordinary collection features titles that celebrate the lives and achievements of immigrants in the U.S. and explore ongoing struggles of immigrants today.

Shooting Women

As directors, producers, actors, and screenwriters, women have utilized the power of film to create and transform their stories and images. From sexual politics as a cinematic subject in SUFFRAGETTES IN THE SILENT CINEMA and as a cinematographic choice in FILMING DESIRE to interviews with women directors around the globe in SHOOTING WOMEN and SISTERS OF THE SCREEN, this collection presents a look at women’s crucial contributions to cinema’s history and global reach.


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Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitates the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. contact us