Forbidden Voices: How to Start a Revolution with a Computer

A film by Barbara Miller

Switzerland | 2012 | 96 minutes | Color | DVD | Subtitled | Order No. 131094 |


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.


"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


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


Barbara Miller

Born 1970 in Switzerland, Barbara Miller holds a degree in law and an undergraduate degree in film studies, philosophy and psychology from the University of Zurich. As an assistant director and editing assistant she worked on Christian Frei’s documentary "War Photographer" for two years. She has been a freelance documentary filmmaker since 2001. (11/19)


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