Opening 10 Mar 2016
In order to gain the trust of the women who tell their stories of violence against them, filmmaker Claudia Schmid spent several months in the Congo getting to know the women and their surroundings. Gaining the trust of these women and filming them telling their stories could not have been an easy task. All of the women interviewed were beaten and kidnapped by rebellion Hutus. They were systematically raped and degraded and made to watch horrible things which they will never forget. After being able to escape their torturers, most of them returned home only to be out cast by their husbands and family. The children some of them brought in to the world as a result of their rapes are also outcasts. They are seen as the women who came out of the forest, almost untouchables who live their lives silently and humbly.
Claudia Schmid made Voices of Violence to look at not only their stories but also how embedded the structure of violence against women is in the Congo. Hearing the men talk about women and their roles in society is just as scary as the actual stories the women tell themselves. It is hard to understand how these women, and all women in the Congo, are treated. Claudia Schmid has done a great job filming without interjecting her own opinion. She offers a view into the women’s lives and allows them to tell their stories in their own words. It is a small step to help break the silence but an important one. (Alana Leichert)