One out of three women in the United States will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime.
NO! The Rape Documentary is the 2006-released, Ford Foundation-funded, groundbreaking feature length film that explores the international atrocity of rape of cisgender women by cisgender men, and other forms of sexual assault through the first person testimonies, scholarship, spirituality, activism, and cultural work of Black people in the United States. Produced, written, and directed over a period of 12-years (1994-2006), by child sexual abuse and adult rape survivor Aishah Shahidah Simmons, NO! also explores how rape is used as a weapon of homophobia.
NO! The Rape Documentary is now available to stream on Vimeo On Demand. The DVD version of the film is subtitled in Spanish, French, Portuguese and English. It is also closed captioned in English.
NO! features riveting testimonials from Black women rape and sexual assault survivors who broke silences and challenged taboos that hid heterosexual rape and sexual assault in African American communities. Black women and men violence prevention advocates, theologians, sociologists, historians, anthropologists, other leading scholars, and human rights activists provide viewers with the tools necessary to understand existing theories and politics intended to eradicate sexual violence, as well as to develop radical new forms of transformative resistance to rape and sexual assault.
Impacting archival footage, spirited music, transformational dance, and performances from three award-winning poets: the late Essex Hemphill, Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, and Samiya A. Bashir take viewers on a journey from enslavement of African people in the United States through the early 2000s.
Alice Walker, the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award- winning author of The Color Purple says,
“If the Black community in the Americas and in the world would save itself it must complete the work this film [NO!] begins.”
NO! The Rape Documentary was ahead of its time. Its 2006 world premiere at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles, CA took place nineteen months before Title IX was successfully applied to campus sexual assault cases, nine-years before the award-winning film The Hunting Ground was released, and eleven-years before the global recognition of the powerful #MeToo and #TimesUp hashtags that represent decades-long movements to end sexual violence and sexual harassment raised national and international awareness in unprecedented ways.
NO! won the Audience Choice Award and a Juried Award at the 2006 San Diego Women Film Festival. It 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, an online archive of social justice films that the Ford Foundation has supported over the past 30 years.
NO! is a Black feminist educational organizing tool that has been used in the global movements to end violence against women and children for over ten years and counting.
Since 2006, NO! has been continuously screened and distributed to racially and ethnically diverse audiences at film festivals, colleges, universities, high schools, correctional facilities, rape crisis centers, battered women’s shelters, conferences throughout the United States and Canada, across Italy, in South Africa, Spain, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Macedonia, Kosovo, Czech Republic, Moldova, Slovakia, Slovenia, Austria, Albania, Nepal, Bulgaria, Rwanda, Kenya, Nepal, Sierra Leone, Jordan, Burkina Faso, Peru, Colombia, Guadeloupe, Venezuela, Brazil, India, France, England, Haiti, Guam, Tahiti, St. Thomas U.S.V.I, St. Croix U.S.V.I, Puerto Rico, Turkey, Malaysia, The Netherlands, Jamaica, Bahamas, Mexico, Cuba, and Germany.