Unwatchable is based on the true story of Masika, a middle class business woman who was happily married with four children. In 1998 her family was attacked by soldiers. Her story is one of hundreds of thousands from the Congo.
Masika in her own words “I heard intense fighting, alot of guns firing, then they broke into my house. The Armed men looted everything “Now we have taken everything we are going to kill you.” They took my husband and started to cut him with a knife. We were in the bedroom and my children were in the other room. He was talking as they cut his feet off, he was still talking as they started to cut though his stomach. He stopped talking when they got to his heart. Then they cut off his penis and put it aside.
I begged and pleaded with them, one turned to me and said ‘Mama, have you ever eaten chewing gum?”. I was confused, I thought, of course I’ve eaten chewing gum. He took my husbands penis and chopped it into pieces and forced me to eat it and chew it slowly. When i refused, they slashed my face – i have now got so many scars all over my body.
They told me if i did not finish they would chop me up and kill me the same way they killed my husband. When I finished, they threw me on top of my husbands body and started to rape me. I had counted up to 22 men when I heard my two girls scream from the other room.
I had seen what they done to my husband, but when I heard my little girls scream I could not bare it any more. I knew they were being raped. I blacked out.
I don’t know how i got to the hospital. I was comatose for 6 months. I didn’t know what had happened to me or that my husband was dead. I came home to find my daughters were pregnant from the rapes. It wasn’t until my youngest told me that I remembered what happened to my husband and our family. Every day I thought about my options and often wanted to end my life, but then i think- there are so many women like me who need my help and that keeps me alive.
I will not stop helping women who have gone through what I went through until we can make it stop.”
Masika has since gone back into conflict zones and carried over 200 people on her back to safety, She has helped over 5000 women and children and turned her home into a support centre for victims of sexual violence. She has been raped a number of times since due to her vocal protests. She says she wont stop speaking out and helping women and children until the conflict stops.
Masika is part of SFVS (Synergie des Femmes pour les Victimes de Violences Sexuelles) which is a platform of 35 local organizations in DRC working to prevent sexual violence, to assist survivors and to persecute perpetrators. Through collaborative action, Synergy aims to empower women and advocate for national judicial reform. This story has been explored in a new documentary by Fiona Lloyd Davies of Studio 9 Films. The trailer can be viewed below