Women, War & Peace: I Came to Testify 10/11

Women, War & Peace, a new five-hour series airing at 9pm Tuesdays through October and November, is a comprehensive global media initiative on women’s strategic role in global conflict.  A co-production of THIRTEEN and Fork Films, Women, War & Peace challenges the conventional wisdom that war and peace are men’s domain and places women at the center of an urgent dialogue about conflict and security. Featuring narrators Matt Damon, Tilda Swinton, Geena Davis and Alfre Woodard, the series reveals that the majority of today’s conflicts are not fought by nations and their armies, but rather by gangs, insurgent groups, and warlords armed with small arms and improvised weapons.  Women have become primary targets in these conflicts and though they are suffering unprecedented casualties they are simultaneously emerging as critical partners in brokering peace and as leaders in forging new international laws governing conflict.  With depth and complexity, Women, War & Peace spotlights the stories of women in conflict zones from Bosnia to Afghanistan, and Colombia to Liberia.

October 11 – I Came to Testify

When the Balkans exploded into war in the 1990s, reports that tens of thousands of women were being systematically raped as a tactic of ethnic cleansing captured the international spotlight. I Came to Testify is the moving story of how a group of 16 women who had been imprisoned by Serb-led forces in the Bosnian town of Foca broke history’s great silence – and stepped forward to take the witness stand in an international court of law. Now, as Bosnia is once again in the headlines with the capture of Bosnian Serb wartime general Ratko Mladic, the women agree to speak for the first time since then, on condition that we keep their identities hidden for their protection. “Witness 99,” who was held at gunpoint for a month with dozens of other women in a sports hall in the center of town remembers: “We were treated like animals. But that was the goal: to kill a woman’s dignity.” Their remarkable courage resulted in a triumphant verdict that led to new international laws about sexual violence in war. Returning to Bosnia 16 years after the end of the conflict, I Came to Testify also explores the chasm between this seismic legal shift and the post-war justice experienced by most of Bosnia’s women war survivors. Narrated by Matt Damon. Produced and Written by Pamela Hogan.