Tapestries of Hope (2009) — Zimbabwe
When film maker Michealene Cristini Risley heard that in Africa it was common for men to rape a virgin in order to cure HIV-AIDS, she thought it was a rumor. That's until she heard Betty Makoni of Zimbabwe speak at a conference. Makoni was raped at the age of six, then saw her mother beaten to death by her father when she was nine. She went on to found the Girl Child Network. Risley was so taken by Makoni's story that she traveled to Zimbabwe and documented Makoni's story and the girls of GCN. The film features very frank discussions of sexual violence against women. Risley interviews not only the girls, but also the traditional healers who encourage the practice of raping virgins, and even one of the rapists. For her efforts, Risley was herself imprisoned in Zimbabwe, then deported to South Africa. Tapestries of Hope was first released in late 2009 at several film festivals. I learned about this film at our church, where the women's commission featured it at a film night. To learn more see http://tapestriesofhope.com/ and http://www.freshwaterhaven.org/.