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Forbidden Voices

Switzerland | 2012 | 96 minutes | Barbara Miller

Despite constant resistance, influential cyber feminists from Cuba, China, and Iran keep blogging about abuses in their countries. Yoani Sánchez, Zeng Jinyan, and Farnaz Seifi courageously write about political issues under increasing scrutiny from their governments and at the risk of their own lives.

May 22, 2013
SIFF Cinema Uptown Festival  
3:30 PM Date has passed
May 25, 2013
SIFF Cinema Uptown Festival  
5:30 PM Date has passed
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Even as the world’s dictatorships clamp down ever harder on their citizens, the internet has provided a new check to official lies and a new way to speak truth to power. The medium’s potential for radical change is demonstrated in this portrait of three women bloggers who’ve refused to be silent in the face of oppression. Yoani Sánchez has chronicled Cuba’s harsh treatment of political prisoners despite her country’s limited online access, posting from hotels and disseminating her works on CDs and flash drives. Farnaz Seifi’s activism for woman’s equality in Iran forced her to leave for Germany, where she now has the freedom to write as she pleases even as it comes with the pain of exile. Chinese dissident Zeng Jinyan’s sardonic accounts of her house arrest capture the horrific limbo of being under surveillance in a police state. A lovely recurring motif has words of these women typed in the sky above their homelands (images captured by covert crews posing as tourists); if any ring out as the film’s motto it is perhaps these by Sánchez: “The century of silence is ending—now we have to bring the loudspeakers of internet and Twitter to all the citizens.”

Director Biography
Over the last decade, Barbara Miller has made several documentaries for Swiss National Television. Forbidden Voices, her first feature, had trouble raising financing until Iran’s Green Revolution convinced others of her belief that the internet could support democratic change.

Sponsored in part by Mercy Corps

Director: Barbara Miller
Country: Switzerland
Year: 2012
Running Time: 96 minutes
Producer: Philip Delaquis
Screenplay: Barbara Miller
Cinematographers: Peter Indergand
Editors: Andreas Winterstein
Music: Marcel Vaid
Website: http://www.forbiddenvoices.net/en/
Awards: WACC-SIGNIS Human Right Award 2012
Filmography: Debut Feature Film
Language: Mandarin, Spanish, French, Farsi, English
HasSubTitles: Yes
Format: HDCAM
US Distributor: Women Make Movies
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