Film follows Boko Haram survivors after village invasion


>>Thompson: THE MILITANT GROUP BOKO HARAM HAS TERRORIZED COMMUNITIES IN NIGERIA, OFTEN TARGETING AND EXPLOTING CHILDREN. THE GROUP’S ABDUCTION OF NEARLY 300 SCHOOL GIRLS IN CHIBOK IN 2014 DREW INTERNATIONAL ATTENTION– BOTH TO THE GROUP, AND TO THE PLIGHT OF YOUNG WOMEN AND GIRLS. THE INSURGENCY KILLED THOUSANDS, DISRUPTED THE EDUCATION SYSTEM AND DISPLACED MORE THAN TWO MILLION PEOPLE. THE SHORT DOCUMENTARY “FORCED” TELLS THE STORIES OF THREE SURVIVORS, FORCED TO FLEE FROM THEIR HOMES AFTER BOKO HARAM INVADED THEIR VILLAGE, AND HOW THEY’VE TRIED TO REBUILD THEIR LIVES. HARI SREENIVASAN SPOKE WITH THE TWO DIRECTOR/PRODUCERS OF “FORCED,” GRACE OYENUBI AND NANI SAHRA WALKER.>>Sreenivasan: THE FACT THAT THE WORLD HAD HEARD ABOUT THE CHIBOK GIRLS SO MUCH. BUT THERE WERE SO MANY OTHER YOUNG WOMEN WHO WE HAD NOT HEARD ABOUT. AND WHEN YOU WENT BACK THERE AND WHEN YOU TALK TO THESE PEOPLE THE STORIES THAT YOU END UP FINDING, THEY’RE SO COMPELLING AND GRIPPING AND YET MOST OF US HAVE NEVER REALIZED THAT THE PROBLEM IS AS WIDESPREAD.>>YEAH, A LOT OF PEOPLE DID NOT KNOW THE SCALE OF IT. IT’S MILLIONS OF PEOPLE THAT HAVE BEEN IMPACTED. A LOT OF THEM ABDUCTED, A LOT OF THEM RAPED, AND OF COURSE ALL OF THEM DISPLACED. AND JUST ALL LIVING IN DIFFERENT PLACES JUST TRYING TO SURVIVE, TRYING TO LIVE ONE DAY AT A TIME. SO THE SCALE OF IT IS MASSIVE. SO IT WAS SO IMPORTANT TO TELL SUCH AND SUCH A STORY SO THAT THE WORLD WOULD KNOW THAT LOOK, AFTER ALL OF THE CRISIS THERE ARE PEOPLE LIVING OUT THERE FOR SURVIVAL OF RAPE, ABDUCTION, AND INTERNALLY DISPLACED AND THEY’RE ALL OUT THERE JUST LIVING THEIR LIFE.>>Sreenivasan: NANI, ONE OF THE INTERESTING THINGS IS IS THAT THIS NEED FOR SAFETY OR JUST A SAFE SPACE. EVEN WHEN THEY GET INTO THE CAMPS PERHAPS THE SOLDIERS MIGHT HAVE HELPED THEM GET THERE. BUT THEN IN CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES THE SOLDIERS ARE ALSO PEOPLE THAT ARE ABUSING THEM.>>RIGHT. AND I THINK THAT THESE ARE THE FAR-REACHING EFFECTS OF WAR AND CONFLICT WHERE THE GOOD AND THE BAD IT’S VERY DIFFICULT TO DISTINGUISH RIGHT. THESE WOMEN WERE VIOLATED BY THEIR PROTECTORS AND SO THERE’S SOMETHING REALLY DAMAGING I THINK PSYCHOLOGICALLY IN THIS CASE BECAUSE THIS IS WHEN THEY’VE ALREADY SURVIVED 11 MONTHS HAVING ESCAPED BOKO HARAM, SURVIVING IN THE HILLS WITH VERY LITTLE TO EAT, HAVING LOST FAMILY MEMBERS. AND SO EXPERIENCING THAT KIND OF TRAUMA AFTER SUCH AN EVENT I THINK JUST ADDS ON TO MORE OF THE HORROR. RIGHT. AND JUST REALLY PILES YOU KNOW THIS PSYCHOLOGICAL ASPECT TO A DEGREE WHERE YOU KNOW THESE WOMEN IT’S GOING TO TAKE MANY YEARS FOR THEM TO RECUPERATE. AND WE’RE TALKING ABOUT YOU KNOW THEY DON’T HAVE MUCH ACCESS TO THERAPY. THERE’S VERY LITTLE MENTAL HEALTH CARE OUT THERE.>>Sreenivasan: GRACE I WANT TO ASK WHERE IS BOKO HARAM TODAY? I MEAN, ONE OF THE MILITARY OFFICIALS THAT YOU SPOKE WITH WAS SOMEWHAT OPTIMISTIC AND SAYING WE’VE REALLY GOT THEM DOWN INTO ONE CORNER THEY’RE IN A VERY SMALL REGION. IS THAT TRUE?>>WE KNOW THAT MOST OF THE PLACES HAVE BEEN TAKEN OVER BY THE MILITARY. YOU KNOW, THEY’RE JUST DROPLETS IN A FEW PLACES. BUT, YOU KNOW, THE FEAR REALLY FOR THEM IS THE INFRASTRUCTURE. THERE’S NOTHING LEFT THERE. YOU KNOW WHAT ARE THEY GOING BACK TO. YOU KNOW THE WHOLE PLACE IS IN BAD SHAPE, YOU KNOW. SO FOR BOKO HARAM I KNOW SOMETIMES THEY JUST TRIED TO SHOW US THAT WE’RE STILL HERE. BUT I KNOW THE MILITARY HAS TAKEN OVER MOST OF THE PLACES.>>Sreenivasan: WHAT’S IT LIKE WORKING AS A FEMALE FILMMAKER TRYING TO COVER TOPICS THAT CERTAINLY THE MEN IN POWER DON’T WANT YOU TO BE REVEALING?>>WELL, IT’S CHALLENGING, AND I THINK THAT WE, YOU KNOW, WE DID CONFRONT THE MILITARY GENERAL, AND HE GAVE US HIS RESPONSE WHICH WAS THAT THERE IS SOME PROTOCOL IN PLACE. YOU KNOW, HE DIDN’T ADDRESS THE CASES THAT HAD BEEN REPORTED. AND I THINK WE CAUGHT HIM OFF GUARD SOMEWHAT. ON THE OTHER HAND, YOU KNOW, THE ISSUE IS CLOSE TO US AS WOMEN. I THINK, YOU KNOW, IT’S, IT’S REALLY IMPORTANT TO ADDRESS THESE ISSUES WHETHER IT’S, YOU KNOW, IN NIGERIA AND IN THIS CONFLICT OR IF IT’S RIGHT HERE.>>Sreenivasan: ALRIGHT. GRACE OYENUBI AND NANI SAHRA WALKER, FILMMAKERS OF THE DOCUMENTARY, “FORCED.” THANKS SO MUCH FOR JOINING US.>>THANK YOU FOR HAVING US.

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