November 8, 1999 GENEVA, NY – Calling The Ghosts: A Story About Rape, War and Women, (1996), the winner of the Nestor Almendros Award given by the International Human Rights Watch Film Festival, will be featured at Hobart and William Smith Colleges as part of the Genocide in the 21st Century lecture series. The 60-minute film will be shown at 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 11, in the Sanford Room of the Warren Hunting Smith Library on the Hobart and William Smith College campus. A discussion led by Richard Salter, assistant professor of religious studies, will be held following the film.
Calling The Ghosts is an intimate story of survival of two women in Bosnia-Hercegovina caught in a war where rape was as much an everyday weapon as bullets and bombs. Jadranka Cigelj and Nusreta Sivac, childhood friends and legal professionals, lived the lives of ordinary modern women until one day their neighbors became their tormentors. Calling The Ghosts chronicles the transformation of these women as their personal struggle for survival transforms into a larger fight for justice. Putting rape into the international lexicon of war crimes becomes their mission. Due to their brave efforts, their very torturers now stand indicted by the International War Crimes Tribunal.
The documentary was named Calling The Ghosts because while recollecting their experience in the Omarska Detention Camp, the women remembered the moments when survival meant maintaining their spirit. Through Jadranka and Nusreta's journey for justice, they are calling the ghosts over the ages of thousands of women who have never had the opportunity to seek justice and retribution. To invoke the past – to call the ghosts – challenges audiences to question their roles as witnesses, through the reality of televised genocides. How does the audience bear witness to these stories in a way to promote healing?
Julia Ormond, the executive producer of the film, says, “Jadranka Cigelj and Nusreta Sivac believe that part of their healing process is for the world to hear their story.” Time Magazine called it a “riveting new documentary.”
# # #