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The Testimony (2015)—Democratic Republic of CongoThe Testimony (2015)—Democratic Republic of Congo

This 28-minute documentary tells the story of the Minova Trial, in which 39 Congolese soldiers were accused of systematically raping their own citizens in the village of Minova.  The film was short listed for the 2015 best Documentary Short Subject.  During a ten-day rampage in November of 2012, government soldiers terrorized the citizens of Minova, including a United Nations estimate of 130 rapes.  "As women," said one victim, "we are used as a weapon of war."  After ten days of hearings, and a thousand victim participants, the failure of the Congolese government to hold its own military accountable horrified the world, but then, as all too often happens, the atrocity faded from the news feeds.  The movie is hard to watch, but its tone and tenor honor the bravery and empowerment of the women who speak out.  At least the victims got to tell their story in a report by Human Rights Watch called Justice on Trial: Lessons from the Minova Rape Case in the Democratic Republic of Congo (available online). For an interview with Director Vanessa Block, who was present at the trial, and producer Steve Tisch (Forest Gump), see here. I watched this film on Netflix Streaming.

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