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Fighting the Silence

Ilse van Velzen / Femke van Velzen

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In front of the camera, a woman relates how soldiers raped her during the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Another victim is filmed while bathing in a lake: 'Every time I smell their odour, I take a bath.' By expressing themselves and participating in support group meetings, raped Congolese women fight for recognition. At one meeting, men first point at the women's provocative clothing. But a soldier extends his support to the activists, just like a reverend does with a scathing sermon to his parishioners. The documentary switches back and forth between hope and sorrow. Two men took their wives back, one of them even participates in the information meetings now. But a young woman who tells about her rape will probably never get married. 'She will become a prostitute', her father sighs. The filmmakers meet with a condemned offender in jail, but he does not show any remorse.


Netherlands, The 2007, 53 min.


Spoken language: French, Swahili

Subtitles: Dutch, English

Official website:


IF Productions

+31 642296948

Dutch distribution:

AUTLOOK Filmsales

+43 720346934

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