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Winner, Best Mid-Length Documentary

“Essential” does not begin to describe Silence of Reason, a meticulously constructed and emotionally undoing video essay that exposes the rape camps set up by Serb forces in the town of Foca early in the Bosnian War. This piece of performative research, which claimed the Best Directing honour at IDFA’s Envision Competition, employs actual court transcripts that were used to condemn sexual enslavement as a crime against humanity in the first Hague tribunal of its kind. Weaving terror out of truth, the film uses visually altered archival footage of once-sublime locations, their beauty now mangled by the traumas that occurred there. Audio of verbatim victim testimony echoes with distortion, revealing the emotional horror underpinning the legal proceedings. As the film unfolds, so do the stories of hundreds of female victims, including multiple generations of women and girls from the same families. For presenting such material in this unrelenting manner, Silence of Reason is both unmissable and unforgettable.

Distributor: Institute for Documentary Film - East Silver


  • Director(s)

    • Kumjana Novakova
  • Producer(s)

    • Kumjana Novakova
  • Executive Producer(s)

    • Kumjana Novakova
  • Writer(s)

    • Kumjana Novakova
  • Editor(s)

    • Jelena Maksimovic
  • Sound

    • Vladimir Živkovic
  • Visit the film's website

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