VMU Movie Mondays: Documentaries on Global Issues

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The United Nations Student Club is organising a new series of film screenings, “Movie Mondays.” Every Monday a documentary film is screened that highlights global conflicts and human rights abuses most people know little about.

“We believe that film is a powerful agent for activism and raising awareness and we hope you will join us in viewing these great films”, the organisers say.

The next film, Small Small Thing, will be shown on 6 p.m., 11 May, at the VMU Faculty of Political Science and Diplomacy (Gedimino Str. 44, Room 202).

In December 2012, Olivia Zinnah died of complications from a rape injury when she was 7 years old. This is her story.

“My administration shall empower Liberian women in all areas of our national life. We will support and increase the writ of laws that restore their dignity and deal drastically with crimes that dehumanize them. We will enforce, without fear or favor, the law against rape recently passed.” – Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf (2005)

President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 for her work in women’s issues. Yet according to UN statistics in 2012, rape is still the #1 crime in Liberia, and the majority of the victims are children. Médecins Sans Frontières in Liberia reports their youngest survivor at 21 months old.

Small Small Thing begins at JFK Hospital in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, and urban center of this West African country. Olivia is 9 years old, severely malnourished and handicapped. Her condition is life threatening. Believing her injuries to be the result of witchcraft, Olivia’s mother had been hiding her for years. The doctors conclude her condition is the result of a brutal rape that took place when Olivia was 7 years old. When pressured to reveal her rapist, Olivia names her cousin.

This diagnosis has severe consequences. Originally from deep in the Liberian jungle, Olivia and her mother are shunned from their tribe for seeking outside help. They are left stranded in Monrovia at the mercy of President Sirleaf’s government, facing the most difficult decision of all. What price are they willing to pay for justice?

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