NO! The Rape Documentary: Ending Sexual Assault and Violence Against Women
Color/Digital Video/ 94 minutes/Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese
AfroLez® Productions, LLC – Production Company and Print Source
Women Make Movies, Inc. – Fiscal Sponsor
AfroLez® Productions, LLC – Distributor
One out of three women in the United States will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime.
Produced and Directed over a period of eleven years, seven of which were full time, by Aishah Shahidah Simmons, an incest and rape survivor, this award-winning, internationally-acclaimed, groundbreaking feature length documentary features riveting testimonials from Black women rape survivor stories who defy victimization.
Violence prevention advocates, theologians, sociologists, historians, anthropologists, and other leading scholars and human rights activists provide an interdisciplinary context with which to examine sexual violence in African-American communities. They also explore how rape is used as a weapon of homophobia.
Impacting archival footage, spirited music, transformational dance, and performances from award-winning poets take viewers on a journey from enslavement of African people in the United States through present day.
On February 14, 2006, NO! had her world premiere at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles, CA. In September 2006, NO! won the Audience Choice Award and a Juried Award at the San Diego Women Film Festival. NO! also won the juried Best Documentary Award at the 2008 India International Women’s Film Festival. In 2009, NO! was among the invited 50 documentaries and short narrative films from 22 countries, which were featured in the Open Frame Film Festival, which is organized by the Public Service Broadcasting Trust (PBST) in New Delhi, India. NO! was also included in JustFilms, a new online archive of social justice films that the Ford Foundation has supported over the past 30 years.
As stated on the JustFilms collection site: “The Ford Foundation has a long history of supporting visionary filmmakers who address the most important social justice issues of our times. This film collection reflects our commitment to groundbreaking documentaries that inform, inspire and advance change…The powerful stories and images here create (her)/history. ”
NO! is a Black feminist educational organizing tool, which is being used in the global movement to end violence against women and children. Since its official release in 2006, NO! has been screened and distributed to racially and ethnically diverse audiences at:
- film festivals
- community centers
- high schools
- correctional facilities
- rape crisis centers
- battered women’s shelters
throughout the United States, in South Africa, Canada, Italy, Spain, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Macedonia, Kosovo, Czech Republic, Moldova, Slovakia, Slovenia, Austria, Nepal, Bulgaria, Rwanda, Kenya, Nepal, Sierra Leone, Jordan, Burkina Faso, Peru, Colombia, Guadeloupe, Venezuela, Brazil, India, France, England, Haiti, Guam, St. Thomas, Turkey, Malaysia, and Mexico.
AfroLez® Productions is distributing NO! in partnership with California Newsreel, the oldest non-profit social issue documentary center and distributor in the United States.
The National Sexual Violence Resource Center-the comprehensive center for information, research, and emerging policy on sexual violence intervention and prevention in the United States–designated screenings and discussions of NO! in community settings as the Featured Event during their 2007 Sexual Assault Awareness Month Campaign.
Through a 2006 grant received from the Ford Foundation, Ms. Simmons
- Coordinated the French (Carole Crawford), Spanish (Evelyne Laurent-Perrault), and Portuguese (Maristela Smith, Rachel E. Harding, Niede Bolinger) subtitling of NO!
- Produced and directed the two-hour Breaking Silences: A Supplemental Video to NO!, features detailed excerpts from the thirty plus hours of footage that couldn’t make it into NO!.
- And, she was the creative and editorial director of Unveiling the Silence: NO! The Rape Documentary Study Guide, a 100-page educational companion guide to NO!
With the release of the subtitled version of NO!, Breaking Silences, and Unveiling the Silence, NO! and her supplemental materials provide more information and are more accessible in the global movements to end violence against women.
Several years after her world premiere in 2006, NO! continues to have an impact across the United States and globally. In fall 2011, Project STOP NOW!, an important Office on Violence Against Women/U.S. Department of Justice (OVW/USDOJ) funded-initiative that focuses on the prevention of violent crimes committed against women at United Negro College Fund (UNCF) member colleges and universities, purchased 26-copies of NO!. This purchase resulted in NO! being used as an anti-rape educational resource/tool on 26 Historically Black College/University campuses in the US. Most recently, at the end of 2012, the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault purchased 30-copies of NO!, 30-copies of Breaking Silences: The Supplemental Video to NO!, and 30-copies of Unveiling the Silences: NO! The Rape Documentary Study Guide. Each set of materials will be distributed to Sexual Assault Centers across the state of Iowa. During this same time period, Ethiopian feminist scholar-activist Dr. Mulumebet Zenebe who teaches at the Institute of Gender Studies (IGS) at Addis Ababa University shared that NO! will be included in their Master of Arts curriculum. As stated on their website, “[t]he IGS is the only institution in Ethiopia that provides post-graduate program study in gender studies.
“If the Black community in the Americas and in the world would save itself, it must complete the work this film begins.“
~Alice Walker, Pulitzer Prize Winning Author
“I have seen a lot of documentaries about sexual violence in my 15 years as a film programmer, and ‘NO!’ is by far the most well made, riveting, and poignant… The strength of ‘NO!’ in reaching its viewers is significant, it’s scope and ability to compel are astounding- all women can relate to this film.”
~KJ Mohr, Film & Media Arts Programmer,
National Museum of Women in the Arts
“This DVD helps raise awareness about sexual assault and violence. Especially useful for counselors working with high-school and ckllege students facing similar pressures and situations.”
“…As a rape survivor, I’ve been having trouble expressing my thoughts and fears about what happened to me. The courage of the women in [NO!] to speak out is a new inspiration. I’m telling my friends and colleagues about your film, as I think it’s imperative for women and men of all backgrounds to see it and increase their understanding about violence against women.”
~Cecilia, Chicago, Illinois