"The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo" on HBO

April 8, 2008

“The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo” makes its premiere tonight on HBO at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

The documentary investigates the systematic rape and torture of thousands of women and girls in the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo. “The Greatest Silence” was awarded a Special Jury Prize (Documentary) at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, among other awards and honors.

Here’s a description sent out by Women Make Movies, a nonprofit film distributor:

A survivor of gang rape herself, Emmy-Award winning filmmaker Lisa F. Jackson travels through the DRC to understand what is happening and why. This award-winning documentary features interviews with activists, physicians, even the indifferent rapists who are soldiers of the Congolese Army. But the most moving moments of this film come as dozens of survivors recount their stories with pulverizing honesty and detail, providing inspiring examples of resistance, courage and grace.

Watch the trailer here. And check out HBO’s site for the film, which includes survivor portraits and resources.

Update: Here’s another perspective on the film’s approach that I just came across in The New York Times.

Update 2: I caught the second half tonight and have to say that from what I saw, I don’t agree with the NYT assessment. Did anyone else watch? What did you think? — plus, here’s another take on it from the Washington Post.