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Shouting Silent
2002, 50 minutes, Color, DVD, Subtitled
Order No. W03810
SHOUTING SILENT explores the South African HIV/AIDS epidemic through the eyes of Xoliswa Sithole, an adult orphan who lost her mother to HIV/AIDS in 1996. Xoliswa journeys back home in search of other young women who have also lost their mothers to HIV/AIDS and are now struggling to raise themselves (and, in many cases, their siblings) on their own.

Sithole lyrically interweaves their unsettling stories with highly stylized imagery to help convey her own painful memories and document the grim statistics of HIV infection in Africa. These testimonials powerfully demonstrate how entire generations of young people are growing up without their parents and chronicles the devastating impact the AIDS pandemic is having on orphaned children in South Africa. An arresting and timely piece, SHOUTING SILENT is also a cinematographic gem that artistically and meditatively captures how these young women are quickly slipping through the cracks of society.


  • Pan-African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO)
  • New York African Film Festival
  • Washington DC Independent Film Festival, Grand Jury Prize
  • San Francisco Black Film Festival, 2nd Prize
  • South Africa Documentary Film Festival
  • Sithengi Film Festival, Cape Town, South Africa

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    “Cuts through the WHO reports and New York Times news stories about the AIDS epidemic in Africa…absolutely refutes the idea that AIDS is just an illness confined to the body. It shows, with heart and compassion, that AIDS is about families, their everyday lives, and the bodies left behind after death.”
    Patricia R. Zimmerman, Professor
    Cinema Studies, Ithaca College

    “…a moving, disconcerting, yet very truthful and personal portrayal of the devastating effect of AIDS on women in South Africa. A must see for everyone advocating for AIDS activism on an international level.”
    Michelle Materre, Media Consultant
    Prof, Communications Dept, New School University

    ''…poignant, sensitive and candid…It deals with an often-told story in an innovative and intimate way.”
    Steven Markovitz
    Encounters South African Documentary Film Festival

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    Shouting Silent 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 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