New Documentary on Women, War, Family and the Democratic Republic of Congo

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Women Make Movies is distributing a new documentary film by Beth Davenport and Elizabeth Mandel.  Here is the description of “Pushing the Elephant“:

In the late 1990s, Rose Mapendo lost her family and home to the violence that engulfed the Democratic Republic of Congo. She emerged advocating forgiveness and reconciliation. In a country where ethnic violence has created seemingly irreparable rifts among Tutsis, Hutus and other Congolese, this remarkable woman is a vital voice in her beleaguered nation’s search for peace.

When war came to Rose’s village, she was separated from her five-year-old daughter, Nangabire. Rose managed to escape with nine of her ten children and was eventually resettled in Phoenix, Arizona. Over a decade later, mother and daughter are reunited in the US where they must face the past and build a new future. As mother and daughter get to know one another, they must come to terms with a painful past, and define what it means to be a survivor, a woman, a refugee and an American.

Through this intimate family portrait unfolding against the wider drama of war, we explore the long-term and often hidden effects of war on women and families, particularly those in traditional societies—financial despair, increased susceptibility to rape, and social ostracism. PUSHING THE ELEPHANT will capture one of the most important stories of our age, a time when genocidal violence is challenged by the moral fortitude and grace of one woman’s mission for peace.

For more information, see here.  This might be of interest to folks who teach Immigration Law, International Law, Asylum & Refugee Law, Women & the Law.  The trailer alone (above) is quite moving.  The mother and the daughter both have the eyes of survivors.

-Bridget Crawford

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