The Democratic Republic of Congo has been ravaged by war for a quarter century, with victims in the millions. Perpetrators of the war’s innumerable crimes take Congo’s riches with impunity and indifference. For thirty years, award-winning documentary filmmaker Thierry Michel has witnessed the struggles, suffering, and hopes of the Congolese people, reports suggest:
His new film, The Empire of Silence, is based on the United Nations “Mapping Report,” which lists war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Congo between 1993 and 2003. The film unsparingly shows the harsh reality and the impunity that has plagued the country for decades, as well as hopeful forces, including Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Denis Mukwege, a partner of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). The film highlights the inertia of the outside world in the face of such horror and is a call to action– lending a voice to the scores of victims hiding deep in the forest and bringing down this “empire of silence.” The film is both a memorial and a tough but important documentary that must be heard, seen, and discussed in the hope that one day, change will come.