Performing an act of compassion
A great performance doesn't always take us away from reality. Sometimes, it takes us right to its door. The award-winning films, plays and performance pieces we've highlighted below, developed or directed by our Voices and Faces Project members and partners, bring us closer to the issue of violence against women, and challenge us to act on behalf of its victims. But don't let that lofty mission scare you away. The critically acclaimed films and plays we've highlighted are as engaging as they are beautifully produced, reminding us that art that creates change is the best art of all.
"The Voices and Faces Project is like dew in the desert. To those who are victims of sexual violence it is a home where they can transform whatever experience has separated them from their life, their family, and who they are, into a unique creative voice that can heal them, using community, work, art and ideas that elevate them."
— Mia Goldman
Mia Goldman: Using her voice and her story to create change.
Voices and Faces Project member Mia Goldman's feature film, Open Window—an official selection at the Sundance Film Festival—explores the long term effects of sexual violence on the victim and those closest to her. Grounded in Mia's own story of living through rape, Open Window is a powerful demonstration of how survivor stories, told in groundbreaking ways, can raise awareness of the issue of violence against women. Mia's film, now available on DVD, is also used in "The Stories We Tell," The Voices and Faces Project's two-day testimonial writing workshop for survivors of sexual violence, domestic violence and trafficking. We're inspired by Mia's courage, her vision and her powerful story. And The Voices and Faces Project has, in turn, inspired Mia. Learn more about Mia Goldman and this film here.
Eliaichi Kimaro: Crossing the globe to confront a painful history.
What happens when a woman goes in search of her identity and discovers that the cycle of violence she's been working to break in the US is part of her history and culture on another continent? Voices and Faces Project ally Eliaichi Kimaro's new film, A Lot Like You, raises important questions about the cultures we inherit and the things we choose to pass down. We love Eli's willingness to ask hard questions of the world, and of herself.
Donna Jenson: Sharing what she knows.
What She Knows is a one act play, created by Voices and Faces Project member Donna Jenson, that depicts a full range of what it is like to grow up in a sexually abusive family. Witness the main character figuratively (and even literally) dancing between life's joys and traumas, ultimately coming to survive the abuse that once shaped her, and reclaim her life. The original What She Knows score, composed and performed by master guitarist John Sheldon (a session player for Van Morrison), makes this Jenson's play as musically evocative as it is powerful. During a post performance dialogue, the audience is invited to engage with Donna and explore the issues surrounding childhood sexual abuse. We love Donna's extraordinary voice – and her courage.
Tod Lending: A film worth seeing, and sharing.
The Voices and Faces Project recently consulted on Burden of Silence, a short documentary film produced by Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Tod Lending. Burden of Silence focuses on sexual violence in the Native American community, and the unique forces that those seeking justice encounter. We encourage you to watch, and share, this beautiful film.