Devastated by 20 years of violence, the eastern part of The Democratic Republic of Congo is often referred to as "The worst place in the world to be a woman." This film brings a very different story from the region.
CITY OF JOY, directed by first-time director Madeleine Gavin, follows the first class of women at a revolutionary leadership center in eastern Congo called City of Joy, from which the film derives its title, and weaves their journey as burgeoning leaders with that of the center’s founders (Dr. Denis Mukwege, 2016 Nobel Peace Prize nominee, women's rights activist Christine Schuler-Deschryver and radical feminist Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues) - three individuals who imagined a place where women who have suffered horrific rape and abuse can heal and become powerful voices of change for their country.
A story about the profound resilience of the human spirit, CITY OF JOY witnesses Congolese women's fierce will to reclaim hope, even when so much of what was meaningful to them has been stripped away.
Photo Credit: Paula J. Allen