Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The man who repairs the women, a disturbing film for the Congolese government – Télé

While it theatrically released in France, Thierry Michel’s film “The Man Who repairs the women,” radical portrait of Denis Mukwege, a gynecologist who helps committed rape victims in Congo, was banned for a few weeks in Congo. Before the government changed his mind. Story of a turnaround.

The living symbols can be annoying when they throw a harsh light on the inability of a government to ensure the security of its citizens , let alone women and children. Belgian director Thierry Michel and fellow journalist Colette Braeckman just make the bitter experience. Co-authors of the documentary The Man Who repairs the women (in theaters February 17), devoted to the Congolese gynecologist Denis Mukwege, they faced the hostility of the authorities of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC ), which opposed for weeks to release the film in the DRC.

Denis Mukwege is one of the most recognized and respected personalities Congolese abroad. Several times nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and received numerous awards for the Defence of Human Rights, that doctor 60 years owes its fame to his support to thousands of women and girls raped by rebels or members of the security forces during the chronic conflicts that ravage the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo for over twenty years. Denis Mukwege was not content to treat these women, he made known to the world the barbarity they were targeted in an area where gang rape is used as a weapon of war. Intimacy destroyed by abuse of all kinds, victims sometimes walk for days to be supported at the Panzi Hospital, established in 1999 by the doctor in Bukavu, capital of the volatile South Kivu province.

the Man who repairs the women would normally be presented in Kinshasa, DRC last September. Did not count on the government banned the broadcast. “ There is a clear intention to harm, to sully the image of our army and no country in the world can tolerate “, was justified Lambert Mende, spokesman of the Government and Minister Communication and Media.

Colette Braeckman tried to negotiate with the Congolese authorities, but Thierry Michel, one other feature – The Chebeya Affair, a state crime – was banned in 2012, he, cried censorship. After weeks of delay, the government finally relented. The cause of the turnaround that causes discontent among some senior military officers, remains obscure. Diplomatic pressure or change of government strategy, it is certain that the same Lambert Mende had severely criticized the film finally decided to highlight his virtues. It is “ likely to support efforts by the authorities [...] and the international community to sensitize stakeholders against the humanly unacceptable abuses suffered by our fellow women.”

“This film is a tribute to Congolese women, and an exceptional personality”, Thierry Michel

This change walk in any case allowed the film to be broadcast in full on October 19 on the Congolese public channel. More recently, in January, it was shown in Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, the second largest city, and Bukavu. At the end of the projection in the capital, a spectator was astonished that could ban the film. “ On the contrary, we must popularize to teach Congolese to support “, argued it. Sheila, revolted as much by the impunity enjoyed by the perpetrators of these atrocities, she hoped that the documentary would cause a shock. “ When women are raped when children are raped, what our government says? The authorities are silent because they do not care for the population! They do not care about us poor we are!

Thierry Michel he remains with his questions and still struggling to understand the reasons for the ban. “ Of course this movie night for some people: the perpetrators, the perpetrators of rape, those who have covered, to those who planned them, those who organized them . [...] But otherwise, for others, this film is rather a tribute to Congolese women, and a tribute to an exceptional personality which Congo should be very proud. “Meanwhile, Colette Braeckman does not hide his relief. The film’s success in the world, where it garnered the honors, would have less flavor if the Congolese had been deprived. Especially as he addresses a message of hope through the course of rape survivors and Dr. Mukwege, it raises the level of “ positive heroes .” “ These women who have been raped, that were destroyed in body, in soul, and recovering standing still living, they are positive heroes. And positive hero like that, in Congo, there are millions, but we do not see them enough.


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