Friday, April 12, 2013

CIFF: "Brave Miss World" helps victims heal, speak out

This documentary tackles a subject that many of us have a hard time thinking about, let alone discussing: rape. But instead of dealing with the psyche of rapists or what drives people to commit such horrific acts, this film follows Linor Abargil, the former Miss World on her quest to give victims a voice.

In 1998, Linor was raped two months before receiving her crown, only knowing her assailant a few days before the attack. After 10 years of trying to come to terms with what happened to her, Linor decides to become an advocate for other rape victims, traveling the world hearing their stories and sharing hers.

Linor's journey takes her to South Africa, known as the rape capital of the world, to meet with victims in their teens and one memorable survivor who was attacked by two men and stabbed more than 50 times. (Discouraging film fact: A female is raped every three minutes in South Africa.)

Her travels also take her to Los Angeles where she sits down with Joan Collins and Fran Drescher and here to Cleveland, where she speaks at a luncheon for the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center. There are familiar faces compelled to tell their stories with Linor and also with us.

The stories of the survivors delicately woven throughout the film are heartbreaking and hard to hear but moving at the same time. These individuals were brave enough to speak out. We should be brave enough to listen.

Brave Miss World shows again this Sunday, April 14 at 12:20 p.m. The Cleveland Rape Crisis Center will host a survivor panel and speak out event later that day from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel featuring Brave Miss World producer Cecilia Peck and local survivors who appear in the film. Visit for ticket information. 

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