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Child Abuse
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A film by Lucinda Broadbent
Scotland/Nicaragua, 2000, 26 minutes, Color, DVD, Subtitled
Order No. W01716
In 1998, Managua, Nicaragua became host to one of the most publicized and controversial cases of sexual abuse to hit modern day Latin America. At the epicenter of the scandal stood none other than Nicaraguan Sandinista leader and ex-President Daniel Ortega. Revered as a revolutionary hero and symbol of military strength, Ortega was accused on multiple charges of rape and battery by his stepdaughter, Soilamerica Narvaez. Despite Ortega's eventual acquittall--he was granted immunity from prosecution as a member of the legislature--a group of pioneering men rallied around the episode to organize a radical campaign against domestic violence and sexual abuse. Their efforts eventually led to the formation of the internationally acclaimed organization, Men Against Violence.

MACHO, a film by Lucinda Broadbent, provides an in-depth profile of Men Against Violence and its ground-breaking work towards eliminating attitudes of male chauvinism (known as machismo in Spanish) that have perpetuated violent acts against women in Nicaragua and Latin America. The film strongly demonstrates that despite living in one of the most destitute countries in Latin America, this group has succeeded in providing a model that is used by men worldwide to discuss issues of violence and advocate for the rights of women.

MACHO offers a rare glimpse at the methods used by Men Against Violence to discuss the abuse of power and the damage it causes families and communities. It also is a powerful film that challenges assumptions about "machismo" and its continued application to Latino culture. In the end, MACHO demonstrates that violence against women and sexual abuse is a worldwide epidemic that needs to be addressed by all men in every country.


  • Barcelona Women's Film Festival
  • Women in Film and TV Film Festival, London
  • WYBE Through the Lens Series

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    The Daily Mail

    "Inspirational portrayal of a small group of men in the war-thorn country of Nicaragua who went against their own machismo culture to stop the violence against women. 'Macho' depicts the courage, vulnerability and the unifying effort needed to address domestic violence on a national level."
    Dr. Sue Wong Gengler
    Alternatives to Domestic Violence

    "Featuring moving testimonies from men who are perpetrators of violence but trying to change their behavior, this video demonstrates a fresh approach to the universal problem of men behaving badly."
    Central America Report

    "Revelatory..and heartbreaking. Offers a fresh look on the universal problem of men behaving badly --from the last place on earth you'd expect."
    Elaine Smith
    Sunday Herald

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    Macho is included in the following Special Collections.
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WMM offers film collections on a variety of specific subject areas, including the collections VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: Ending the Silence, BODY IMAGE, and AFRICAN-AMERICAN: Celebrate the Lives of African-American Women.

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© Women Make Movies, 2005
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Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitiates the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. contact us