Friday, March 08, 2013

When Marriage Becomes Punishment- a tribute to women forced to marry their rapists- Video

In honor of International Women's Day.

The following documentary "475" (when marriage becomes punishment)- is a fascinating yet tragic look into the whole issue of forcing rape victims to marry their rapists.

Amina Filali is a 16-year old Moroccan girl who committed suicide after being forced to marry her alleged rapist. Her tragical death dominated Moroccan and international media in March 2012.

Amina had accused a young man in her village of rape, but because authorities failed to properly investigate her accusations, she was married to her rapist following a citation from article 475 of the Moroccan penal code. This article dismisses a rapist of his charges as long as he marries his victim. A year after her marriage, Amina swallowed rat poison, walked into the village market, and died.

Through this horrifying affair, the film explores the legal, political, religious and social issues that plague Moroccan women-- chipping away at the facade of equality that disguises a deep-seated patriarchal system.

Underscoring the pervasiveness of this problem, the team filming 475 also discovers that Filali’s rape and marriage was only one of four similar incidents that had happened in her small village’s recent memory. They also discover that the account of Filali’s experience was not as simple as it had been portrayed. While the film highlights the difficulty in determining guilt, it also adeptly showcases the endemic nature of the problem of sexual violence in Morocco.

It was shot "illegally, as a form of civil disobedience", by a group of young Moroccan filmmakers, some who are studying in the U.S. Co-written, directed and edited by Nadir Bouhmouch.

Although I don't agree with some of the conclusions, it's an interesting hour.

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