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Since the beginning of the revolution in Syria in 2011 and during the war that followed, approximatively 50 000 women have been thrown into Bashar el-Assad’s jails. Their only crime was just to live in rebel strongholds against the regime, to be relatives of anti-regime fighters or to have healed the wounds of soldiers. The immense majority of them have been systematically raped and tortured by their jailers from the Syrian army or special services.
In heartbreaking and essential documentary «Silent War» the French award-winning journalist and director Manon Loizeau has given the voices to those women who have become a tool of mass repression in the hands of the Syrian dictator. « I wanted that we could hear these women, those are silent women, who cannot talk about what they’ve experienced», explains the director. The film explains how the Syrian regime has used rape in order to break the resistance inside the society. «Death is preferable to rape», says one of the protagonists. Through the voices of Mariam and others, one can also feel the terrible chronicle of a revolution for dignity which has been eaten by the most brutal war of the 21st century.
Manon Loizeau started making documentaries in 1997 in Moscow for France 2, Arte and Canal+, mostly on human rights issues, forbidden places and forbidden lands like Chechnya, where she worked for more than ten years. After Russia, she made several films in Afghanistan, India and Pakistan. Throughout the years she has been obsessed by telling untold stories, making forbidden voices heard.
Stephane Siohan is a French reporter and documentary producer. Born in Brest, he studied journalism in Lille and then worked in Bucharest and Paris, reporting on Eastern Europe related questions. Stephane moved to Ukraine in 2013 where he reported about the revolution of Maidan and the war in Donbas for newspapers and televisions, including Le Figaro (France), Canal+ (France), Le Soir (Belgium), Le Temps (Switzerland) and Radio Canada. In 2016 he launched his French documentary production, producing «Home Games» directed by Alisa Kovalenko.