An Ode to Remarkable Women: Into the Light

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Do you ever contemplate the violence women have to suffer simply because of who they are and where they are born? Here is your opportunity to take a closer look at just how strong these remarkable women are, through the lens of filmmaker Gentille M. Assih. 

The National Film Board of Canada recently premiered Assih’s documentary Into the Light, free-of-charge exclusively at NFB.ca. The release of the documentary came on November 25th, 2020, to coincide with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. 

Into the Light casts a spotlight on inspiring Canadian women of African origin who have triumphed after suffering through domestic violence. The film celebrates the strength of these women, and showcases experiences of cultural differences and the challenges of immigrating to a new place. However, one central goal of the film remains clear: highlighting the ever-relevant issue of domestic violence against women—especially women from marginalized communities. 

Assih’s documentary is particularly relevant given how the pandemic has exacerbated difficult domestic situations and further endangered vulnerable women. North American women have a 1 in 4 chance of being physically or sexually abused by an intimate partner. 

Throughout the pandemic, movements that challenge racial and gender-based injustices have gained attention. Into the Light capitalizes on the possibility of these movements to enable personal healing and awareness for this specific community of women. 

The film chronicles the life of several characters including Christine, a French teacher who is suffering from domestic violence and is also about to immigrate to Canada from Africa. Other characters include a younger African couple who have recently moved to Canada, a pastor, an imam and a motivational speaker. The lives of the featured characters and the people around them show how courageously and gracefully the women in the film escape violence and make a positive impact in their communities. 

Gentille M. Assih is a highly-talented filmmaker who focuses her work on social issues while simultaneously tackling injustices—and she does it all with the utmost sensitivity and tact. 

You can watch Into the Light free-of-cost at NFB.ca. 

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