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The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo
A film by Lisa F. Jackson
2007, 76 minutes, Color, DVD, French, Swahili, Lingala, Mashi, Subtitled
Order No. W09930
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.

Produced in association with HBO Documentary Films and the Fledgling Fund, this film features interviews with activists, peacekeepers, physicians, and even-chillingly-the indifferent rapists who are soldiers of the Congolese Army. Harrowing moments of the film come as dozens of survivors recount their stories with an honesty and immediacy that is pulverizing in its intimacy and detail, but this powerful film also provides inspiring examples of resiliency, resistance, courage and grace.

**Emmy Award Nominee for Outstanding Informational Programming: Long Form and Outstanding Individual Achievement in a Craft: Writing**


Sundance Film Festival, Special Jury Prize: Documentary
Gracie Award, Outstanding Documentary - Long Format
Emmy Award Nominee in Outstanding Informational Programming: Long Form and Outstanding Individual Achievement in a Craft: Writing
London Human Rights Watch Film Festival, Best of Fest
One World Slovakia Doc Film Festival, Best of Fest
Int'l Black DocuFest, Best Human Rights Watch Documentary
Roma Independent Film Festival, Best Documentary
Reel Awareness Amnesty Int'l Human Rights FF, Best Documentary

  • Int'l Film Forum & Festival on Human Rights, Geneva
  • Rwanda Film Festival
  • Human Rights Watch Int'l Film Festival, NY
  • Seattle Human Rights Watch Film Festival
  • Montreal Human Rights Film Festival
  • One World Int'l Human Rights Doc Film Festival, Prague
  • San Francisco Human Rights Watch Int'l Film Festival
  • Full Frame Doc Film Festival
  • High Falls Film Festival
  • Indianapolis Film Festival
  • Addis Int'l Film Festival on Rights and Justice, Addis Ababa
  • Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Pravo Ljudski Human Rights Film Festival
  • Human Rights Watch Int'l Traveling Film Festival, Int'l House, PA
  • Women's Film Festival, VT
  • Cinema Arts Centre, NY

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    “Highly Recommended. Jackson has created an extraordinary document that gives voice to the silent, and that asks the profound question ‘If a society can’t protect women and kids, what kind of society is that?"
    Patricia B. McGee
    Educational Media Reviews Online

    “Captures the stark reality of women’s and girls’ suffering and untold courage… You will never think about conflict in gender-neutral terms again.”
    Karin Wachter
    Int’l Rescue Committee, Gender-based Violence Technical Advisor

    "4 Stars. A moving, powerful, and deeply disturbing documentary. ...fills a crucial information void...Highly Recommended, Editor's Choice"
    Video Librarian

    "This film will long endure. A brave, extraordinary film in the great, courageous tradition of all who've spoken up for the rights of women for centuries."
    Adam Hochschild, Award-winning Author
    King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa

    “Impressive…shows not only in candid and unapologetic detail the psychological trauma and horror endured by individual rape survivors, but also its broader cultural implications.”
    Jeffrey W. Mantz
    Dept. of Sociology & Anthropology, George Mason University

    “Exceptional lensing throughout this distressing and disturbing documentary.”
    Joe Leydon

    “Harrowing and heart-rending and maddening and confounding.”
    Robert Lloyd
    Los Angeles Times

    "[A] documentary of the highest calling."
    The Hollywood Reporter

    "An important tool for waking up the sleeping consciousness of humanity that continues to allow such injustices on women and children to go unchecked and unreported."
    Chrys Ballerano
    NY State Coalition Against Sexual Assault

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    The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo 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