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City of Joy
74 minutes
Director(s): Madeleine Gavin
Democratic Republic of Congo, USA
Thu 3:00 pm Varsity 1
Fri 12:00 pm Varsity 1
Sat 09:30 am Varsity 1


Oregon Premiere

Film editor Madeleine Gavin directs her first film, an ultimately uplifting documentary about a center in the Democratic Republic of Congo where women who have suffered horrific rape and abuse form a revolutionary  community of leaders despite an endless war driven by greed, economics, and colonialism. The film shares the unlikely friendship that develops when a devout Congolese doctor, Dr. Denis Mukwege, (2016 nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize), radical playwright and activist, Eve Ensler, (Tony Award®-winning playwright of The Vagina Monologues) and a charismatic Congolese human rights activist, Christine Schuler-Deschryver, join forces to create a safe haven in the middle of violence-torn eastern Congo; a place they call the City of Joy. Subtitles 


Screeners’ Choice: 

Selected by AIFF’s amazing volunteer screeners 


Director’s Statement: Madeleine Gavin 

I understood that I could make a film that was explicit about some of DRC’s history, but I wasn’t really interested in making a film that was too straight ahead because I had seen films where I felt like I got a lot of information but didn’t really experience anything. I wanted to make a film that allowed audiences to feel what I felt when I first went to Congo—the tremendous strength, vitality, and commitment that these individuals had to each other and to imagining a future for themselves and their country. It was important to me that the audience not go numb in the watching of this film or to be so torn up that they shut down and stopped listening.



with Marla Estes & Kay Sandberg 

5:15-6:45pm | Elks Club, 255 E. Main St. (2nd St. & Lithia Way) | FREE (no ticket required) 

Friday, April 7: City of Joy
Saturday, April 8: I Am Another You
Sunday, April 9: Sacred

Join expert discussion facilitators Marla Estes and Kay Sandberg and special guests for in-depth conversations about how three provocative films affected you and other attendees. Your personal responses to the films’ revelations and possible social action points will be the springboard for discussion. See screenings of the powerful documentaries City of Joy, I Am Another You, and Sacred at AIFF2017, then come to the Elks Club and dive in deeper.

Marla Estes, M.A. is the founder of the School of the Examined Life. She gives workshops using lm watching as a lens for personal growth, and understanding oneself and others. 

Kay Sandberg, M.A. is passionate about film as a way to elevate our experience of being human. She has spent her career facilitating conversations that matter including the popular, “OLLI Goes to the AIFF.” 

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