A Thousand Girls Like Me

A THOUSAND GIRLS LIKE ME is an awe-inspiring vérité documentary that tells the story of a young Afghan woman’s brave fight to seek justice and protect her children after experiencing years of abuse at the hands of her father. Khatera Golzad’s father physically and sexually abused her for more than thirteen years, and after several aborted pregnancies, she gave birth to a daughter and a son. Despite her many attempts to file charges, neither the Afghan police nor the legal system helped her. In 2014, she appeared on national television to publicly accuse her father, finally succeeding in bringing her case to court despite threats from male relatives and judges who labelled her a liar. Shedding light on the broken Afghan judicial system and the women it seldom protects, A THOUSAND GIRLS LIKE ME is the story of one woman’s battle against cultural, familial, and legal pressures as she embarks on a mission to set a positive example for her daughter and other girls like her. In a country where the systematic abuse of girls is rarely discussed, Afghan filmmaker Sahra Mani’s film is ultimately a story of bravery, love, hope and resilience.
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Primas

PRIMAS is an evocative and poetic portrait of two Argentine teenage cousins who come of age together as they overcome the heinous acts of violence that interrupted their childhoods. When Rocío was 10 years old, she was dragged from her bike by a stranger, raped, set on fire and left for dead. Now a teenager, she still grapples with memories of the nightmarish assault that left her body scarred. Together with her cousin Aldana, who was sexually abused for years by her own father, she lives, laughs and shares her story. Traveling through Argentina and Montreal, the two cousins embark upon a program of theater, dance, and circus that helps them process complex emotions. Little by little, they manage to rebuild the lives that were so brutally stolen from them and free themselves from the shadows of their past. A humanistic exploration of familial love, creativity, and courage in the wake of sexual violence, PRIMAS is a moving tribute to the deep strength of resilient women.
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India's Daughter

INDIA’S DAUGHTER is the powerful story of the 2012, brutal gang rape on a Delhi bus of a 23 year old medical student, who later died from her injuries. In 2012, it made international headlines and ignited protests by women in India and around the world. BAFTA winning filmmaker Leslee Udwin, herself a victim of rape, went to India inspired by the protests against sexual assault. With an all Indian crew, Udwin got exclusive, first time on camera interviews with the rapists and defense attorney, none of whom express remorse. The defense attorney goes even further, stating that “immodest” women deserve what happens to them. An impassioned plea for change, INDIA’S DAUGHTER pays tribute to a remarkable and inspiring young woman and explores the compelling human stories behind the incident and the political ramifications throughout India. But beyond India, the film lays bare the way in which societies and their patriarchal values have spawned such acts of violence globally.
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Unafraid: Voices From the Crime Victims Treatment Center

A deeply personal documentary, UNAFRAID gives voice to four, diverse rape survivors and takes a historic look back at the pioneering treatment center where they now receive counseling. In her directorial debut, Karin Venegas highlights the work of two unsung feminist heroes in the movement for victims’ rights at the height of 1970s feminism and the Women’s Movement. From breaking victims’ silence to the revolutionary invention of the rape kit, this powerful film intimately explores the impact of rape and the capacity of ordinary individuals to effect change. Although frequently referenced in popular culture, few audiences know of the rape kit’s feminist origins. UNAFRAID is the first film to address the grassroots genesis of this important tool, which not only made it easier to convict in the criminal justice system but which helped shape our very cultural acceptance of rape as a serious crime, worthy of prosecution and compassionate treatment. Together, UNAFRAID’s collage of voices aims to lift the stigma that traps victims in silence – and to remind its audience that social change is indeed possible. Essential viewing for Criminal Justice, Law and Women’s Studies Classrooms.
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It Was Rape

U.S. sexual assault statistics are startling—and have remained unchanged for decades. The latest White House Council on Women and Girls report reveals that nearly one in five women experiences rape or attempted rape in her lifetime. Among college student victims, who have some of the highest rates of sexual assault, just 12 percent report incidents to law enforcement officials. In earlier studies, 15% of sexual assault victims were younger than 13; 93% of juvenile victims knew their attacker. IT WAS RAPE gives human faces and voices to statistics, breaking through the silence, denial and victim blaming that allow an epidemic to thrive. Eight women of different backgrounds, ages and ethnicities relate personal stories of surviving sexual assault in their younger years, as well as their struggles toward healing, empowerment, and finally speaking out. By award-winning feminist author, filmmaker and activist Jennifer Baumgardner, this strikingly relevant documentary will engage all audiences in needed dialogue about the prevalence of sexual assaults in the U.S., at our schools and colleges, and the elements promoting rape culture on and off campus. IT WAS RAPE is a crucial resource for colleges and communities to meaningfully address Title IX issues around sexual violence.
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Light Fly, Fly High

Thulasi, a young Indian woman in her twenties, is literally willing to box her way out of poverty and into a better life. A Dalit or “untouchable” born outside of caste, she rejected her place on society’s lowest rung at an early age and was forced to leave her parents’ home when only 14. Ten years later, despite her impressive record in the ring, ranking 3rd in India’s Light Fly category, Thulasi remains stuck at the bottom, deprived of opportunities she rightly deserves. Despite an uphill battle against sexual harassment, poverty and the pressure to marry, Thulasi refuses to compromise herself and her goals and takes her destiny into her own hands. Filmed during three eventful years, LIGHT FLY, FLY HIGH is a beautifully shot, gripping and inspirational story of a courageous young woman who refuses to be anyone’s victim and ends up a hero of her own making against all odds.
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Justice for Sale

JUSTICE FOR SALE follows the young, courageous Congolese human rights lawyer Claudine Tsongo who refuses to accept that justice is indeed “For Sale” in her country. When she investigates the case of a soldier convicted of rape, she becomes convinced his trial was unfair and uncovers a system where the basic principles of law are ignored—and when the system fails, everyone becomes a victim. The documentary not only provides a glimpse into the failings of the Congolese judicial system but also raises questions about the role of the international community and non-governmental organizations in reforming it. Does their financial support cause justice to be for sale? And who pays the price? This is the third documentary in Dutch filmmakers Ilse and Femke van Velzen’s trilogy about the Congo, following FIGHTING THE SILENCE, about the consequences for victims of sexual violence and WEAPON OF WAR, confessions by those who perpetrated the acts. These films are essential viewing for anyone interested in the issues facing contemporary Africa.
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Pushing the Elephant

In the late 1990s, Rose Mapendo lost her family and home to the violence that engulfed the Democratic Republic of Congo. She emerged advocating forgiveness and reconciliation. In a country where ethnic violence has created seemingly irreparable rifts among Tutsis, Hutus and other Congolese, this remarkable woman is a vital voice in her beleaguered nation’s search for peace. When war came to Rose’s village, she was separated from her five-year-old daughter, Nangabire. Rose managed to escape with nine of her ten children and was eventually resettled in Phoenix, Arizona. Over a decade later, mother and daughter are reunited in the US where they must face the past and build a new future. As mother and daughter get to know one another, they must come to terms with a painful past, and define what it means to be a survivor, a woman, a refugee and an American. Through this intimate family portrait unfolding against the wider drama of war, we explore the long-term and often hidden effects of war on women and families, particularly those in traditional societies—financial despair, increased susceptibility to rape, and social ostracism. PUSHING THE ELEPHANT captures one of the most important stories of our age, a time when genocidal violence is challenged by the moral fortitude and grace of one woman’s mission for peace. This is a powerful first-person portrait of an indomitable woman dedicated to peace and the healing power of forgiveness. A moving, joyful and hopeful chronicle of refugee experience and acculturation in the U.S. today, PUSHING THE ELEPHANT is also an insightful portrait of the changing face of immigration in our increasingly diverse society.
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Weapon of War

In no other country has sexual violence matched the scale of brutality reached in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). During nearly two decades of conflicts between rebels and government forces, an estimated 150,000 Congolese women and girls fell victim to mass rape. That figure continues to rise. WEAPON OF WAR, an award-winning film honored by Amnesty International, journeys to the heart of this crisis, where we meet its perpetrators. In personal interviews, soldiers and former combatants provide openhearted but shocking testimony about rape in the DRC. Despite differing views on causes or criminal status, all reveal how years of conflict, as well as discrimination against women, have normalized brutal sexual violence. We also see former rapists struggling to change their own or others’ behavior, and reintegrate into their communities. A companion to FIGHTING THE SILENCE and its portraits of Congolese rape survivors, this indispensable resource provides unique insights into strategic uses of rape as a military weapon - and the motives of the men who employ it.
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After the Rape

In 2002, Mukhtar Mai, a rural Pakistani woman from a remote part of the Punjab, was gang-raped by order of her tribal council as punishment for her younger brother’s alleged relationship with a woman from another clan. Instead of committing suicide or living in shame, Mukhtar spoke out, fighting for justice in the Pakistani courts—making world headlines. Further defying custom, she started two schools for girls in her village and a crisis center for abused women. Mukhtar, who had never learned to read but knew the Koran by heart, realized that only a change in mentality could break brutal, archaic traditions and social codes. Her story, included in the bestseller “Half the Sky” by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, and the subject of Mukhtar’s own memoir, “In the Name of Honor”, has inspired women across the globe. Revealing the progress and fruits of Mukhtar’s labor, this powerful documentary tracks the school’s profound impact on the girls and families of Meerwala and shows how the crisis center empowers women seeking its help. An important look inside Pakistan, where the impact of Islamic fundamentalism is revealed and how women are fighting its oppressive and violent impact.
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Rough Aunties

Fearless, feisty and resolute, the “Rough Aunties” are a remarkable group of women unwavering in their stand to protect and care for the abused, neglected and forgotten children of Durban, South Africa. This documentary by internationally acclaimed director Kim Longinotto (SISTERS IN LAW, DIVORCE IRANIAN STYLE) follows the outspoken, multiracial cadre of Thuli, Mildred, Sdudla, Eureka and Jackie, as they wage a daily battle against systemic apathy, corruption, and greed to help the most vulnerable and disenfranchised of their communities. Despite the harsh realities of violence, poverty, and racism in the women’s work at the Bobbi Bear child welfare organization and in the heartaches of their personal lives, the portraits that emerge on screen are filled with grace, wisdom, friendship, and a deeply stirring conviction. Neither politics, nor social or racial divisions stand a chance against the united force of the women. Once again Longinotto has managed to bring us an intimate portrait of change from Africa, this time from post-apartheid South Africa, a nation being transformed with hope and energy into a new democracy.
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Fighting the Silence

The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s seven year war was the deadliest ever recorded in Africa. During that time, more than 80,000 women and girls were raped. Only now that the country is formally at peace are the consequences of the brutality becoming truly visible. Rape is slowly seeping into everyday life. FIGHTING THE SILENCE tells the story of ordinary Congolese women and men that are struggling to change their society: one that prefers to blame victims rather than prosecute rapists. Rape survivors and their families speak out openly about the suffering they endured because their culture considers women second class citizens and rape a taboo. They give voice to thousands of other survivors and their families who have chosen to hide their grief and remain silent for fear of being rejected by their families and community. Girls and women survivors tell of the brutality they experienced. Married couples openly talk about the pain they endure. Husbands talk of the pressures that led them to abandon their wives and why they agreed to take them back. A father explains why he has given up on his daughter’s future and how he wishes he could afford to take her rapist to court. Soldiers and policemen share their (shocking) views about why rape continues to flourish despite the war having officially ended four years ago.
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The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo

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**
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These Girls

Screened to audiences at the Cannes, Toronto, and New York film festivals, this fresh, irresistibly lively, intensely engaging documentary from widely acclaimed Egyptian director Tahani Rached (SORAÏDA, WOMAN OF PALESTINE and FOUR WOMEN OF EGYPT) follows a band of teenage girls living on the streets of Cairo. Rached won astonishing access to the girls’ world; this vigorous, cinematic film is built upon the deep trust of its subjects and the long experience of the filmmaker. Already at a disadvantage as impoverished and abused girls in a Muslim society, they encounter rape, drug addiction, prostitution, pregnancy and motherhood on the streets. While the girls’ troubles are not downplayed, neither are their courage, playfulness and vibrant camaraderie. Rached brings alive the pulse of Cairo’s streets, offering an unsentimental portrait that avoids traps of guilt or cheap pity. What stands out is the strength and sheer joy that these girls project. With deft skill Rached reveals an invisible world and offers a loving homage to the inspirational, fierce girls who inhabit it.
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Sisters in Law

Winner of the Prix Art et Essai at the Cannes Film Festival and screened to acclaim at more than 120 festivals around the world, SISTERS IN LAW is the bestselling documentary from internationally renowned director Kim Longinotto, co-directed by Florence Ayisi. In the little town of Kumba, Cameroon, there have been no convictions in spousal abuse cases for 17 years. But two women determined to change their community are making progress that could change their country. This fascinating, often hilarious doc follows the work of State Prosecutor Vera Ngassa and Court President Beatrice Ntuba as they help women fight often-difficult cases of abuse, despite pressures from family and their community to remain silent. Six-year-old Manka is covered in scars and has run away from an abusive aunt, Amina is seeking a divorce to put an end to brutal beatings by her husband, the pre-teen Sonita has daringly accused her neighbor of rape. With fierce compassion, the two feisty and progressive-minded women dispense wisdom, wisecracks and justice in fair measure, handing down stiff sentences to those convicted. A cross between “Judge Judy” and “The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency,” SISTERS IN LAW has audiences cheering when justice is served.
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Señorita Extraviada, Missing Young Woman

SENORITA EXTRAVIADA, MISSING YOUNG WOMAN tells the haunting story of the more than 350 kidnapped, raped and murdered young women of Juárez, Mexico. Visually poetic, yet unflinching in its gaze, this compelling investigation unravels the layers of complicity that have allowed for the brutal murders of women living along the Mexico-U.S. border. In the midst of Juárez’s international mystique and high profile job market, there exists a murky history of grossly underreported human rights abuses and violence against women. The climate of violence and impunity continues to grow, and the murders of women continue to this day. Relying on what Portillo comes to see as the most reliable of sources – the testimonies of the families of the victims –SEÑORITA EXTRAVIADA, MISSING YOUNG WOMAN documents a two-year search for the truth in the underbelly of the new global economy. An Independent Television Service (ITVS) Production.
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Macho

In 1998, Managua, Nicaragua became host to one of the most publicized and controversial cases of sexual abuse to hit modern day Latin America. At the epicenter of the scandal stood none other than Nicaraguan Sandinista leader and ex-President Daniel Ortega. Revered as a revolutionary hero and symbol of military strength, Ortega was accused on multiple charges of rape and battery by his stepdaughter, Soilamerica Narvaez. Despite Ortega's eventual acquittall--he was granted immunity from prosecution as a member of the legislature--a group of pioneering men rallied around the episode to organize a radical campaign against domestic violence and sexual abuse. Their efforts eventually led to the formation of the internationally acclaimed organization, Men Against Violence. MACHO, a film by Lucinda Broadbent, provides an in-depth profile of Men Against Violence and its ground-breaking work towards eliminating attitudes of male chauvinism (known as machismo in Spanish) that have perpetuated violent acts against women in Nicaragua and Latin America. The film strongly demonstrates that despite living in one of the most destitute countries in Latin America, this group has succeeded in providing a model that is used by men worldwide to discuss issues of violence and advocate for the rights of women. MACHO offers a rare glimpse at the methods used by Men Against Violence to discuss the abuse of power and the damage it causes families and communities. It also is a powerful film that challenges assumptions about "machismo" and its continued application to Latino culture. In the end, MACHO demonstrates that violence against women and sexual abuse is a worldwide epidemic that needs to be addressed by all men in every country.
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The Children We Sacrifice

Shot in India, Sri Lanka, Canada and the United States, and screened in 18 countries, this evocative, visually powerful documentary is about incestuous sexual abuse of the South Asian girl child. By interweaving survivors' narratives, including the producer's own story, with interviews with South Asian mental health professionals, and with statistical information, as well as poetry and art, THE CHILDREN WE SACRIFICE discloses the many layers of a subject traditionally shrouded in secrecy. Insights into the far-reaching psychological, social and cultural consequences of incest are accompanied by thoughtful assessments of strategies that have helped adult women cope with childhood trauma. The film also analyzes social and cultural resistance in South Asia and the Diaspora to dealing with incest's causes and its effects on its victims. This personal and collective letter from South Asian incest survivors and their advocates is both a validation of their struggle and a compelling charge to protect future generations of children better.
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Calling the Ghosts

An extraordinarily powerful documentary, CALLING THE GHOSTS is the first-person account of two women caught in a war where rape was as much an everyday weapon as bullets or bombs. Jadranka Cigelj and Nusreta Sivac, childhood friends and lawyers, enjoyed the lives of "ordinary modern women" in Bosnia-Herzegovina until one day former neighbors became tormentors. Taken to the notorious Serb concentration camp of Omarska, the two women, like other Muslim and Croat women interned there, were systematically tortured and humiliated by their Serb captors. Once released, the pair turned personal struggles for survival into a larger fight for justice-aiding other women similarly brutalized and successfully lobbying to have rape included in the international lexicon of war crimes by the UN Tribunal at the Hague. Chronicling the two women's experience and their remarkable transformation, CALLING THE GHOSTS is an indispensable resource for deepening understanding of human rights abuses and combating violence against women in the global arena.
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Home Avenue

With commanding cinematic style, Montgomery retraces events of a night nine years ago when, between her boyfriend's dorm and her parent's house, she was raped at gunpoint. Super 8 camera in tow, she uncovers the psychology of the incident, relating how the authorities and her family tried to disavow her claims and the crime. Pondering the bland suburban landscape, her subsequent obsession with guns and the blurring of guilt, responsibility and betrayal, Montgomery boldly masters the trauma through memory, self-narration and artistic intervention. By the maker of ART FOR TEACHERS OF CHILDREN.
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Update Brazil

Brazil, like most countries, has a high incidence of domestic violence and sexual assault. Too often, institutions set up to deal with these crimes are staffed by men who have little understanding or recognition of the needs of the women who are most often the victims. UPDATE BRAZIL looks at this country’s innovative solution: the establishment of police stations completely run and operated by plainclothes and armed women, offering legal assistance and emotional support. An informative, exciting, and empowering new perspective in dealing with sexual assault.
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Waking Up to Rape

"If I were to choose only one film on sexual assault to show to a class or to the general public, I would select WAKING UP TO RAPE. This is a powerful film that examines the personal trauma of rape, its long-term psychological effects, societal attitudes about sexual assault, and the problem of racism in the criminal justice system. Three rape survivors (Black, Chicana, and white) courageously describe their rape experiences (acquaintance rape, incest, and stranger rape). The film also features scenes with women police officers, counselors, and self-defense instructors. Unlike most films, it offers strong support for women viewers who are coping with their own sexual assault experiences. I highly recommend it for college classes, everyone who works with sexual assault survivors, and the general public." -Feminist Collections
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After Hours

A confronting and realistic short drama by Academy Award-winning director, Jane Campion, about sexual harassment in the office. A young office worker alleges her boss sexually harassed her when she worked late at his request. She loses her job as a result of the claim. The investigator for the case finds it difficult to gather evidence from the tight-lipped and uncooperative office workers. Delicately drawn, AFTER HOURS raises important questions about discrimination, sexual harassment, gender relations and the interpretation of events.
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