I know this is a bit last minute, but London readers if you’re free tomorrow, you may want to head to the ICA for a screening of No! The Rape Documentary. The documentary was 11 years in the making.
Screening as part of International Women’s Month, this US documentary looks at the realities of rape within African-American communities, through intimate testimonies from survivors, with commentary, archive footage, performance poetry and dance. Winner Audience Choice Award at the San Diego Women Film Festival, and the Best Documentary Award at the India International Women’s Film Festival.
Dir Aishah Shahidah Simmons, US 2006, 94 mins, Cert 12A
There’s also a Study guide to accompany the documentary.
Campbell of Blackmanvision interviewed the director recently, as well:
Where did the idea for NO! come from?
I started making NO! in 1994 and the idea for NO! came from my strong desire to cinematically break the silence that countless Black women have kept (and keep) about the various forms of sexual and physical violence that they experienced (and experience) within Black communities. I also made NO! because I am an incest and rape survivor.
Through my making NO! I literally healed and saved myself. When I started working on the project 15 years ago, I envisioned it solely being used within the African-American community. Little did I know at that NO! would speak directly to and be used by countless women in numerous countries in Africa, South America, the Caribbean, Europe and India. While this speaks to the power of cinematic story telling, this also speaks to the sobering reality of the universality of violence against women.