In the build-up to 16 Days of Activism against Women and Child Abuse in South Africa 2023, a groundbreaking local film is laying the scourge of gender-based violence (GBV) bare. That’s What She Said: A Social Inquiry, a documentary by directed by Natasha Sutherland and produced by Tracy Going and Lesedi Job, sheds new light on the phenomenon, by elevating new voices, while exploring Going’s endurance after an abusive relationship many years back.
While That’s What She Said will not be released with the traditional approach in cinemas, corporate organisations are invited to book screenings at cinemas or on their own premises. The intention is for the film to be seen in groups and leveraged to spark meaningful discussion around the pressing phenomenon of GBV, so that dialogue can play a role in positive change. Screenings are available until 14 December.
South Africa is considered to be the rape capital of the world with 10,818 rape cases reported in the first quarter of 2022. New research* reveals that the rate at which women are killed by intimate partners in this country is five times higher than the global average. GBV, a widespread and common occurrence in SA, is deeply ingrained in homes, workplaces, cultures and traditions. This pandemic, because of unequal power between genders, has far-reaching effects that go on beyond the violence itself. GBV manifests in various forms that include physical, emotional, psychological, financial or structural harm usually perpetrated by intimate partners, work colleagues, strangers and even institutions.
The film centres around reactions to the acclaimed theatre adaptation of the memoir Brutal Legacy (SA Best Seller) penned by Tracy Going (award winning former TV and Radio news anchor), a survivor of GBV herself, and the high-profile case that dominated local media in the late 1990’s, at a time when GBV received little, if any attention. The book is being re-released to coincide with the film, now with a prologue and epilogue added, providing closure to her story and additional information about what occurred after the events in the book.
What makes the documentary That’s What She Said: A Social Inquiry unique, is that the narrative, represented in haunting scenes from the theatre performance, is woven alongside commentary from a panel of unrelated men from diverse backgrounds. Their reactions after viewing the provocative play provide intriguing insights regarding this controversial social issue. The result is the powerful message that GBV knows no gender. In fact, it affects us all.
Corporate organisations that wish to book a screening either in a cinema or at their own premises can go to this website for more information, https://www.gravelroadafrica.com/twss, or contact moc.acirfadaorlevarg@wehttam
“That’s What She Said peels back the curtain on the paradoxes that exist in homes and society, where, all too often GBV hides behind facades and where the very essence of care and compassion are tragically distorted into cruelty and suffering,” said Benjamin Cowley, CEO, Gravel Road Distribution Group. “It’s time to stop the scourge and stand up against this awful phenomenon. I hope that the film helps to raise understanding of the gravity of GBV in SA and that corporates comes forward to play a role in elevating conversations around this important issue,” he added.