Sunday, January 18, 2009

Look On! "Silence: Rape in Congo"

(Look On! takes occasional note of noteworthy films.)

For those who have not yet seen The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo, try to view this documentary by Lisa F. Jackson (below right). It won the Special Jury Prize at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and has been broadcast in the US, including on HBO. You can see a video clip here.
Last week the Council on Foreign Relations hosted a screening, followed by a panel with filmmaker Jackson and Ambassador Atoki Ileka, the DRC's Permanent Representative to the United Nations. Isobel Coleman, Senior Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy at the Council,, moderated.
From the vantage point of spreading the film's call for an end to impunity for rape, it was impressive to learn that the film was recently shown in the Congolese National Assembly. More than 600 people were there, including the president of the National Assembly, Vital Kamerhe, the president of the Senate, Kengo Wa Dondo, the deputy prime minister, Nzanga Mobutu, and the gender minister, Marie Ange Lukiana Mufankolo. President Joseph Kabila was absent.
Perhaps even more impressive, throughout January The Greatest Silence is airing on Congolese National Television in three different languages.
When watching the film, pay particular attention to Major Honorine Munyole, quoted below in a separate post, as she goes about her rounds and raises her four children. Munyole is the chief -- indeed, the only member -- of the sex crime unit of the Congolese National Police. Also, for those looking for results-oriented charitable deductions, consider the International Rescue Committee's support of the Panzi Hospital for rape victims.

(credit for photos at left and above right)

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