Portrays the lives of three female ex-child combatants. They participated in the decade-long Civil Wars in Sierra Leone and Liberia; some were abducted, raped and forcibly recruited. Others volunteered in order to find protection. While trying to reintegrate into society, a lot still are rejected
Woman See Lot of Things is an experimental documentary about three female ex-child combatants who were participants in the Liberian and Sierra Leonean civil wars of the 1990s.
During these decade-long civil wars, numerous girls were abducted, raped and forcibly recruited. Others volunteered in order to find protection. They were used as fighters, sex-slaves and labourers by all parties to the conflicts. In addition to combat duties, many were subject to constant sexual abuse; some taken as ‘wives’ by rebel commanders, impregnated and forced to brutalize others.
The ones who survived the wars lost their childhood and schooling. They have undergone a process of transformation, intensified by their maturing during the wars. While trying to reintegrate into society, a lot were, and some still are, rejected. Due to the lack of gender equality and women rights, condemnations and stigmatization – for having been rebels, having ‘rebel babies’ or having been raped and used by other men – are common. The result of the process these women have undergone has been the creation of a new sector in the population, equipped with skills, needs and views, and confronted with a different set of social mores. A distinctive example would be the strong sense of independence they developed during the war.
Anita Jackson, Mahade Pako and Chris Conteh come from different social backgrounds. They had different roles in the wars, and found themselves after the wars in contrasting situations, and having different views. With strong and clear expressive skills, they invite us to understand their lives in post-war Sierra Leone, and the psychophysical adjustments they have undertaken in order to come to terms with their experiences.
The principle of maintaining freedom of speech was strictly adhered to, as the aim of the film is to sensitize and convey to the viewer these women’s way of living in the past and present, without interpretations.
This film challenges methods of production and visual aesthetics. It contains unique sound work, hand-drawn animation, and live-action, stressing the extensive ‘story-telling’ skills of the three women.
This documentary is the third and last artwork produced in the frame of the Face_WSLOT (Woman See Lot of Things) project, following an interdisciplinary art installation, a book and a music CD, launched and published in 2004. From it’s incomes, the project finances tertiary education scholarships for women in Sierra Leone (TESI-WSL).
- TV broadcast Arte France, SVE (Sweden), Cataluna TV,
- Tens of filmfestivals
- Prizes won
- Prix camera au poing (camera at the ready) RIDM 07, Montreal, Canada
- Winner TV3 Catalunya
- International award 2007, Barcelona, Spain
- Grand prix, Batumi int. art-house FF 2008, Batumi, Georgia
- Best documentary film, Yerevan int. FF Golden Apricot 2008, Yerevan, Armenia
With the participation of: Anita jackson, Mahade Pako, Chris Conteh
Director: Meira Asher
Camera: Flashkes Hila
Editor: Patrick Janssens
Music composition & sound: Meira Asher
Drawn animation: Jochen Ehmann
Factual texts: Liam Evans
Producer: Meira Asher
Co-production: & Sales: Alexandra Jansse Xela Films 2007
Location: Sierra Leone 2006
Themes: Female ex-child combatants, War trauma, Volunteer fighter, SLA (Sierra Leone Army), AFRC junta (Armed Forces Revolutionary Council), ULIMO (United Liberian Movement for Democracy), RUF junta (Revolutionary United Front).