Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo Airs Tonight on HBO

HBO airs what appears to be a brutal examination of "rape as warfare" as practiced by Congolese soldiers against women and little girls over the last ten years.

The documentary, shot by gang-rape survivor Lisa F. Jackson, provides an unflinching look at not only rape victims, but groups of actual rapists themselves.

Here is a description from HBO's website for the doc.

Shot in the war zones of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), this documentary feature explores the shocking plight of women and girls caught in the sexual crossfire as this giant African nation enters its second decade of internal conflict.

Since 1998, a brutal war has ravaged the DRC, killing over 4 million people. Over the same time, tens of thousands of women and girls have been systematically kidnapped, raped, mutilated and tortured by soldiers - both from foreign militias and the Congolese army that is supposed to protect them.

Emmy®-winning filmmaker Lisa F. Jackson, herself a survivor of gang rape, travels deep inside the DRC to understand what is happening and why.

Her resultant film features interviews with survivors, activists, peacekeepers, physicians and, most chillingly, two groups of rapists who are soldiers of the Congolese Army.

Above all, it highlights first-person accounts of dozens of rape survivors, who recount their stories with pulverizing honesty and immediacy.

Heart-wrenching in its portrayal of the grotesque realities of life in Congo, the film also provides inspiring examples of resiliency, courage and grace, while serving as a call to action for anyone with a conscience.

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