Celebrate Human Rights Day with Five ITVS Films

By Rebecca Huval

Which holidays are you celebrating this December: Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and New Year’s Eve? Add another to the list because today is Human Rights Day. On December 10, 1948, the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the UN now honors it annually. This year’s theme is the right to speak up in public life and politics.

Still from The Day My God Died

Celebrate Human Rights Day by catching up on these excellent ITVS-funded documentaries about human rights: Continue reading

Letter from Rose

Rose Mapendo survived a Congolese death camp and lived to reflect on the experience in the documentary Pushing the Elephant, airing tonight on Independent Lens. Prior to the film’s national broadcast, Rose wanted to share her personal perspective with viewers.

I thank God for what He has done to keep me alive until this day. I am very happy that this movie made by Arts Engine is going to air this month allowing more people to see and know unspeakable struggles of a mother forced to separation with her daughter and a woman whose husband was tortured and executed leaving her to care for 9 children in a death camp without help and hope to survive.

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Explore our Interactive Timeline: History of the Congo

Independent Lens has created an interactive timeline of the history of the Democratic Republic of Congo to help bring viewers up to speed ahead of Tuesday night’s documentary Pushing the Elephant.

A snapshot of an interactive timeline tool on the Independent Lens website.

The Democratic Republic of Congo has a tragic history marked by invasion and brutality by imperialists and occupiers. Give yourself a primer on the African country and trace the Congo’s history with the videos, photographs, and resources on this interactive timeline, provided by Independent Lens.


ITVS Staffers Respond to Pushing the Elephant

ITVS staffers offer their take on the upcoming Independent Lens documentary.

Tuesday marked the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day and to honor the occasion, BTB presented a live chat with PBS NewsHour on Women’s Empowerment. The documentary Pushing the Elephant (airing March 29 on Independent Lens) was featured prominently in the discussion, with the filmmakers and subject, Rose Mapendo, participating in the chat. This month, ITVS staffers will offer up their very personal responses to the documentary about one Congolese refugee’s attempt to find forgiveness and start a new life. Today’s post comes from our Senior Publicity Manager, Voleine Amilcar.
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Rose Mapendo Responds to Tragedy in Tuscon


Rose Mapendo lost her husband and home to the ethnic violence that engulfed the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the 1990s, yet she emerged from the suffering advocating for forgiveness and reconciliation. Now, in this interview with Ted Simons of KAET 8 in Arizona, Ms. Mapendo shares her reaction to last month’s tragic events in Tucson, which took the lives of six people and injured nineteen, including U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords.

Rose Mapendo is the subject of the gripping documentary Pushing the Elephant which airs March 29, 2011 on Independent Lens.  Watch the interview after the jump.

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