Al Jazeera interview with ‘Fighting the Silence’ filmmakers

Dutch filmmakers Ilse and Femke van Velzen recently appeared on the Al Jazeera documentary channel Witness to discuss their 2007 film ‘Fighting the Silence’ about rape in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Presenter Rageh Omaar asked them how they were able to encourage the women to speak to them about an act that is considered so shameful in Congolese society. Isle and Femke respond that they found the women through local women activists. Because the women who had been raped trusted these activists, Isle and Femke were able to more easily create a bond of trust with them. Secondly, the women were told exactly why they would be doing the interviews. But the biggest motivation was that they wanted to share their story. Ilse and Femke state that they did not want to victimize the women. Yet, I wonder, how can they walk the fine line between not victimizing them women in order to show their real strength and needing to create sympathy within the audience? The goal of documentary films about human rights is not just to extend knowledge to the audience, but, I believe, to create action and encourage the audience to see what small part they can play in fighting for the right’s of others.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s