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Forbidden Voices: How to Start a Revolution with a Computer
A film by Barbara Miller
Switzerland, 2012, 96 minutes, Color, DVD, Subtitled
Order No. W131094
Their voices are suppressed, prohibited and censored. But world-famous bloggers Yoani Sánchez, Zeng Jinyan and Farnaz Seifi are unafraid of their dictatorial regimes. These fearless women represent a new, networked generation of modern rebels. In Cuba, China and Iran their blogs shake the foundations of the state information monopoly, putting them at great risk.

This film accompanies these brave young cyberfeminists on perilous journeys. Eyewitness reports and clandestine footage show Sánchez's brutal beating by Cuban police for criticizing her country's regime; Chinese human rights activist Jinyan under house arrest for four years; and Iranian journalist and women's advocate Seifi forced into exile, where she blogs under a pseudonym. Tracing each woman's use of social media to denounce and combat violations of human rights and free speech in her home country, FORBIDDEN VOICES attests to the Internet's potential for building international awareness and political pressure.


San Sebastian Human Rights Film Festival, Amnesty International Award
Toronto, WACC-SIGNIS Human Rights Award
Nomination, Swiss Film Award, Best Documentary
Nomination Prix Soleure Solothurner Filmtage, Swiitzerland
Nomination, A Matter of ACT, Movies that Matter Film Festival

  • International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA)
  • Seattle International Film Festival
  • Movies That Matter, The Netherlands
  • Sarasota Film Festival
  • FEMCINE Chile
  • Vision du Reel
  • Thessaloniki Documentary Festival
  • One World Film Festival
  • Sierra Leone Human Rights Film Festival
  • San Sebastian Human Rights Festival
  • PÖFF, Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, Tallinn
  • The Frontline Club
  • Northside Festival, Brooklyn
  • Brooklyn Film Festival
  • Encounters: South African International Documentary Festival

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    "An incredible moving story of three women bloggers fighting to keep telling the truth. As First Lady Michelle Obama says: "Courage can actually be contagious."
    Melissa Silverstein

    "Tell the truth in a country where there is no freedom of expression? These women use the new media as a weapon against censorship."
    Kristen Rammus
    Estonian Human Rights Centre

    "Great numbers of people are dying around the world for daring to speak out. These bloggers... refuse to be intimidated by violence and make a difference with their perseverance."
    Valérie Lobsiger

    "The documentary shows beautifully deep sorrow of exile."

    "FORBIDDEN VOICES is a compelling and deeply disturbing documentary that makes those of us who freely sit at our laptops and type realize how much we take for granted, and how powerful these women's voices are..."
    Leigh Kolb
    Bitch Flicks

    "FORBIDDEN VOICES is a case of cinematic journalism at its finest. 4.5 stars"
    Joe Bendel
    The Epoch Times

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    Forbidden Voices: How to Start a Revolution with a Computer 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