The Family of Woman Film Festival will present two free documentary film screenings at Boise State University. The festival strives to engage people on the issues of
women around the world. Each screening at Boise State will feature a discussion about the making of the film and the issues each film raises with filmmakers and
their subjects, Boise State faculty and others.
Both screenings begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Morrison Center Recital Hall and are free. Parking is available in the Brady Street Parking Garage.
“Mama Colonel,” Tuesday, Feb. 27
Special guest Dr. Henia Dakkak, representative from the United National Population Fund (UNFPA). Discussion moderated by Steven Feldstein of the Frank Church Institute.
“Mama Colonel,” directed by Dieudo Hamadi, focuses on a remarkable and unflappable woman, Colonel Honorine Munyole, head of a special national police unit charged with the protection of women and children in The Democratic Republic of Congo.
Mama Colonel has just started a new assignment in Kisangani, the DRC’s third largest city and heart of the diamond trade. She introduces herself to her new constituency at the bustling city market, tightly buttoned in her official police uniform, black beret tipped on her creatively coiffed head, and wielding a black handbag instead of a weapon. It was amid the chaos of the DRC’s long civil war that rape as a weapon of war first came to international attention and Colonel Honorine implores the women who have been abused to come to her for help: if they can talk, they can again find their voice, regain confidence and heal together. As she speaks, Hamadi’s camera sweeps the faces of the silent crowd, the viewer hoping to see any sign of reaction.
Within a day, several war widows show up at Mama Colonel’s desk reporting multiple rapes as well as having witnessed the murders of their husbands and children. She finds them shelter in an abandoned police barracks and returns to the marketplace to plead for what assistance the people can give these victims if only a piece of coal. The crowd is no longer silent, some complaining that they are also victims of the war with their own needs, and a delegation of maimed survivors claim the widows are lying and their group is the only government-recognized victims’ deserving assistance. Yet another group of victims falls under Mama Colonel’s care when she raids a house where abandoned children are being beaten and starved by a prophetess claiming they are witches.
Everyone is a survivor in Mama’s Colonel’s eyes, leading the ever-resourceful policewoman to find a ray of hope — and a remarkably uplifting solution. Watch the Mama’s Colonel trailer.
“In Syria,” Wednesday, Feb. 28
Special guest filmaker Phillipe Van Leeuw. Moderated by Melissa Davlin from Idaho Public Television.
“Locked inside an apartment with the door barricaded from the inside, a Syrian woman tries to protect her household from the raging war just outside her covered windows. Her elderly father-in-law stoically observes the chaos through a slit from behind the drawn curtains while she tries to establish a normal life inside for her three children with the help of her housemaid. A young couple and their baby, whose apartment in the same building has been destroyed by a bomb, are also part of the cramped quarters, as well as a teenage boy who snuck in to see one of her daughters.
Under siege from gunfire and explosions, and with the constant threat of looting or being discovered by soldiers, Oum Yazan, played by the extraordinary Palestinian actress, Hiam Abbass, tries to maintain a routine schedule of cleaning and meals, even scolding her pre-teen daughter for using too much water to shave her legs for the first time. In the span of 24 hours, we see danger come closer and the household is forced to make incomprehensible moral decisions to keep each other alive.
Writer and Director, Philippe Van Leeuw, filming almost entirely inside an apartment building in Beruit, with a cast all drawn from war-torn countries, shares what life is like for Syrians living in constant terror of war. Watch the Insyriated trailer.
Learn more about The Family of Woman Film Festival and see the full schedule at familyofwomanfilmfestival.org.