Audience favorites are rare among the films that win jury awards. And while the jury's criteria may vary, the audience always rewards emotions, stories of shared human experiences and heartwarming films that inspire and move. More than charm the masses, these films are powerful, capable of changing minds and hearts – and often invite reflection and re-evaluation of preconceived notions we have of places and people.
Madeleine Gavins City of Joy won the Public Award during the film festival Movies That Matter in the Netherlands this year, and illustrates in a good way what is mentioned above. The film proves that a documentary can be optimistic, have a meaningful subject and an insightful approach, while exploring a heavy topic. The background story is anything but uplifting: In the Democratic Republic Congo, where voldtekt is used as a weapon of war and around 200 women have been exposed to this, gynecologist Dr. Denis Mukwege – nominated several times for the Nobel Prize – collaborates with Christine Schuler Deschryver and the American playwright and activist Eve Ensler to establish a center for women who have survived rape and other gender-related. . .