Heart Of Darkness

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Sociopolitical Documentary hosted by Thandie Newton, published by ABC broadcasted as part of ABC Four Corners series in 2010 - English narration

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Image: Heart-Of-Darkness-Cover.jpg

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Heart of Darkness

Reporter: BBC

Broadcast: 26/07/2010

The Democractic Republic of Congo is the most dangerous place in the world to be a woman. It's a place where rape has become a weapon of war. Now a BBC film crew follows Judith Wanga as she meets the survivors of the conflict. She talks to women, children, and child soldiers who've been forced to kill so that they themselves will not be killed. To her horror, she discovers that the violence is fuelled, in part, by the need to mine the minerals that go into the manufacture of mobile phones and laptops.

Twenty-three-year-old Judith Wanga grew up in London and is proud to be British. But Judith was born thousands of miles away in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Twenty years ago, with the country in turmoil and fearing for their daughter's safety, her parents sent her to live with relatives in Britain.

Now Judith is going back to Congo for the first time. She wants to understand the childhood she missed and find the missing piece in the jigsaw puzzle of her life.

Judith quickly discovers two things: despite the fact the civil war in Congo has officially ended, in the east of the country a bitter conflict between Congolese troops and rebels continues. She also discovers that women across Congo have a very different status to women in Western countries.

After the reunion with her parents, Judith visits eastern Congo, an area that has been devastated by conflict. There she learns that rape is an epidemic. Judith meets a radio journalist who conducts a one person campaign to expose the extent of the violence directed at women. She hears the stories of those who have been attacked and meets the children who are born as a result of the rapes.

As well as meeting the victims of this conflict, Judith also talks to some of the perpetrators. She meets a young woman who was forced to join the military to survive. The woman reveals how she was forced to kill and how she fled the armed forces only to find herself without money to support her child. Now she supports herself by working as a prostitute.

Amidst all the horror, Judith also glimpses a few signs of hope. She visits a centre that has been built to provide a sanctuary for women who have been assaulted, called 'City of Joy'. In another part of Congo she meets the young men and women who carry out dramatic performances exposing the brutality they have seen and experienced.

On discovering the harsh realities of her homeland, Judith begins to understand why her parents sent her away as a child. Her experience also makes her determined to return home to Britain and encourage awareness of the plight of her country, and the women forced to endure unimaginable suffering.

"Heart of Darkness" goes to air on the 26th July at 8.30 pm ABC 1. It is replayed on 27th July at 11.35 pm. Also available on ABC iView for 14 days from broadcast.

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[edit] Technical Specs

  • Video Codec: x264 core 93
  • Video Bitrate: 1800 kbps
  • Video Resolution: 992x572
  • Video Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Frames Per Second: 25
  • Audio Codec: AAC
  • Audio Bitrate: 128 kb/s CBR 48000 Hz
  • Audio Streams: 2ch
  • Audio Languages: English
  • RunTime: 44min
  • Part Size: 620Mb.
  • Writing application: Avidemux 2.5.3
  • Format: Matroska
  • Source: DVB-T

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