New documentary reveals how four refugee women escaped sexual abuse to become stage stars
7 October 2016
Four refugee women from Africa who survived extreme sexual abuse and violence found a way to heal with the help of Elizabeth Bay theatre director Ros Horin.
Five years ago, Ms Horin met Aminata, Yordano, Yarrie and Rosemary while searching for stories to highlight the suffering of refugee women.
What has grown from that meeting has been more than Ms Horin could have expected with the five women now intrinsically woven into each other’s lives.
The women shared their stories and became the stars of The Baulkham Hills African Ladies Troupe, a stage production that played to sold out shows in Australia and over the world.
Now, a documentary of their experience is being released following rave reviews at film festivals including the Melbourne and Sydney Film Festivals.
“We’ve had a huge response to it,” Ms Horin said.
“The film seems to profoundly touch people and they find it inspiring and it gives them hope.
“They fall in love with these women watching how they become empowered and change.”
But the story of the four women won’t stop on the stage or in cinemas.
“We’re working on an outreach campaign to make sure people who need to see it do,” Ms Horin said.
“Working alongside the film and taking it into communities that are experiencing something similar but are living in a culture where they can’t speak about it.
“We want to encourage them to speak about it and begin the process of healing.”
Ms Horin said one of those places would be India where the film would be shown at the Mumbai Film Festival.
The Baulkham Hills African Ladies Troupe documentary will debut in cinemas nationally on Thursday, October 6 with a special Q & A screening at Randwick Ritz on October 12 at 7pm with Ms Horin and Aminata.